COVID-19 Updates 10/30/2020

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Governor Updates

Western States Join California’s Scientific Safety Review Workgroup to Ensure Safety of COVID-19 Vaccine

Experts will independently review the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine.

Oregon, Washington, and Nevada have joined California's COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which will independently review the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the FDA for distribution. Last week, Governor Newsom announced the panel made up of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health.

“The vaccines currently in development, once approved, are what Americans have been waiting for to protect their families, their children, and their loved ones in long-term care facilities,” said Governor Kate Brown. “The independent review conducted by this panel of doctors, scientists, and health experts will ensure that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone, especially communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this disease.”

Governor Brown will join the Governors of Washington and Nevada to identify public health experts that will join California’s workgroup to guide the review of any vaccine approved by the FDA. While there is no proven vaccine for COVID-19 yet, these top health experts will review any vaccine that receives federal approval and verify its safety before California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada will make the vaccine available to the public.

This is not the first time Western States have collaborated in response to COVID-19. In April, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Nevada joined in a Western States Pact which shared a vision for fighting COVID-19 and reopening their economies. Western State leaders in May urged congressional leaders to approve $1 trillion in COVID-19 relief for states and local governments and are partnering to pilot a project testing new exposure notification technology pioneered by Google and Apple.

Read the full press release here.

Press Conference Today at 11:00

Governor Kate Brown will hold a press conference today at 11:00am. She will be discussing Oregon’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and schools. Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill will be joining for Q&A.  Follow this link to watch

Oregon Health Authority Updates

COVID-19 Weekly Report

From the Oregon Health Authority

COVID-19 Weekly Report:

During the week of Monday, October 19, through Sunday, October 25, we recorded 2,642 new cases of COVID-19. That is a 14% increase from the previous week and a record-high for the pandemic.

The number of newly tested Oregonians rose to 31,448 and the percentage of positive tests held steady at 6.5%. Twenty-seven Oregonians were reported to have died in association with COVID-19—compared to 25 the previous week and 143 were hospitalized.

People aged 20 to 49 accounted for the largest percentage of infection at 56%, despite accounting for 39% of the total population. Persons under 30 accounted for 37% of the cases.
People over 80 accounted for 51% of COVID-19 associated deaths and people over 70 accounted for 75% of deaths associated with the illness.

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge, we're reminding people to:
-- Wear a face covering
-- Keep physically distant.
-- Avoid large gatherings and restrict gatherings with people outside of your household.
-- Maintain good hand hygiene.

Weekly Report

Smoking and COVID-19

From the Oregon Health Authority

Did you know smoking or vaping can make COVID-19 worse? If a person who smokes, or used to smoke, gets COVID-19, they are more likely to develop a serious case of the virus than someone who does not smoke. Smoking and vaping damage the lungs, which makes it hard for the body to stay healthy. Viruses can then enter the lungs and attach to cells more easily.

Quitting smoking or vaping is one the best ways you can take care of your health. We know that quitting smoking and vaping is hard. Free resources to help you quit are available to everyone in Oregon. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit in English. For Spanish speakers, call 1-800-DEJALO-YA or visit and select Espanol to get help in Spanish.

COVID and Smoking

Education Updates

Beaverton School District Child Care Subsidy

For parents/guardians who live in the Beaverton School District attendance area, even if your child is not enrolled in the district, you may be eligible to receive a child care subsidy. Washington County has secured a grant through the federal CARES Act to provide child care subsidies to parents/guardians. The Beaverton School District will be distributing approximately $2.4 million to families who are eligible and apply for these subsidies. In other words, if you pay for child care, you could be eligible to receive money to help cover some or all of your out-of-pocket expenses. Visit here for more information and eligibility requirements.

Mental Health Needs of Students

This pandemic has been hard on all of us and especially on our youth and students that went from in-person instruction one day to comprehensive distance learning soon after. Remembering to check in with their mental health and well-being is so important right now as they are trying to navigate through the difficulties of online learning and the unknowns of the pandemic. Here are some mental health resources from the Hillsboro School District that can help.

From the Hillsboro School District

The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority and we are here to help, as are our community partners. We know that the global pandemic has been challenging in a myriad of ways, and has impacted the mental health of many in our community. National organizations use the designation of Mental Health Month in May to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and stop the stigma associated with mental health issues. Especially during this challenging time, we encourage students and families to familiarize themselves with ways they can access support. The HSD Support Sticker is provided to all students and contains information on how to receive immediate assistance. Additional resources are provided in the Community Resources document on our coronavirus webpage. Our school staff are also available Monday through Thursday to answer any questions you or your student may have and to provide assistance.

Safety Sticker

Unemployment Insurance Updates

Thank you to the Oregon Employment Department for the following updates.

Below are the audio and video links to Employment Department Director, David Gerstenfeld’s media briefing from earlier this week:


  • The recording of last week's webinar about adjudication and what it means for your claim, is now online here. It covers adjudication to explain to claimants what adjudication is, and some of the many reasons why a claim may need to be adjudicated.
  • We have 16 webinars posted on the YouTube site since June, on several topics.
  • Here is the registration link for next week’s webinar that will be going over the PUA online form in Vietnamese:

Oregon Employment Department Announces Focused Initiative to Process Claims in Adjudication

20 percent of claims in adjudication have been resolved since the agency began tracking progress.

This week, the Oregon Employment Department announced the launch of Focus Adjudication, an initiative to process 100 percent of claims waiting to be adjudicated. Although the Oregon Employment Department has provided $5.3 billion in benefits to more than 443,000 Oregonians since March, many people have one or more weeks of claims that federal requirements say must be adjudicated.

“We know that too many families are still waiting for relief. We are doing everything we can to
speed up the process so that Oregonians can receive the benefits they deserve. We know a
targeted effort like Focus Adjudication works because it succeeded in eliminating backlogs in
regular unemployment and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims,” said David
Gerstenfeld, acting director of the Oregon Employment Department.

Focus Adjudication allows the Employment Department to track progress against the Sept. 30
figure of 52,000 people with claims in adjudication. Of the 52,000, the number of people with
claims in adjudication dropped to 48,000 on Oct. 14, and dropped further to 45,250 on Oct. 21. Today, of that 52,000, approximately 41,700 people have claims in adjudication, a nearly 20 percent decrease. Some Oregonians may have only one week’s claim in adjudication and still receive benefits for all other weeks claimed. Others may have several weeks in adjudication and still receive benefits for other weeks claimed.

Before Focus Adjudication was launched more than 18,000 people received benefits through
the Benefits While You Wait program.

The Employment Department is legally required to move a claim into adjudication when a
person’s eligibility for unemployment benefits is unclear. A claim may be placed in adjudication if it appears a person has quit their job, has been fired, didn’t accept work, is on a school recess, or in other situations.

Adjudication is a complex, time-intensive process. The timeframe for resolving these claims
depends on how complex any given case is: Some cases can be resolved quickly, while others require more experienced adjudicators to ensure an accurate decision is made.

The Focus Adjudication goal is to process all claims before the end of the year. The Employment Department will provide weekly progress updates on the initiative’s progress.

Visit here to see current and previous media announcements from the Oregon Employment Department.

Washington County Updates

Washington County Circuit Court Using CARES Act Dollars to Address COVID-19 Case Backlog

From the Washington County District Attorney

A collaboration of criminal justice partners in Washington County has developed an innovative way to clear a large backlog of criminal cases caused by COVID-19 restricted court operations ordered by the Oregon Chief Justice and Washington County Presiding Judge in March of 2020. These partners include the Washington County Circuit Court, Washington County District Attorney’s Office, criminal defense bar, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Board of Commissioners and multiple county departments.

On Wednesday, October 14, the Washington County Circuit Court began hearing cases at the Wingspan Event & Conference Center located at Westside Commons, formerly known as the Washington County Fairgrounds. In cooperation with the Washington County Board of Commissioners, the Washington County Circuit Court and our local criminal justice system is benefiting from CARES Act federal funding which has been used to create two socially distanced temporary courtrooms, dubbed “Wingspan Court.”  This marks the first official event held at the brand-new facility, which has been closed due to COVID-19.

This effort seeks to clear a backlog of more than 600 lower-level felony and misdemeanor criminal cases that have been delayed over the past six months due to COVID-19 court restricted operations. In the first eight days of operation at “Wingspan Court,” prosecutors with the district attorney’s office, working collaboratively with defense attorneys and the court, were able to resolve 123 cases.

Read the full article here.

Community Outreach

Meals On Wheels Needs Your Help


I have been a Meals on Wheels volunteer for nearly nine years. I LOVE it. Pre-COVID, I was a volunteer driver and Advisory Council Member of the Hillsboro Center. When COVID hit, my role changed. I turned to the phones and have been making weekly Wellness Calls every Thursday. Just yesterday, I spoke to one of the clients I call every week and we started talking about his grandchildren. Sadly, he has not seen his grandchildren in years, as they live in Uganda in East Africa and it is too expensive to stay in touch. It really put into perspective for me sometimes what we can take for granted, the simple acts of having our loved ones near and the ability reach out to them with ease. He is a sweet man and thankfully has more family locally to stay in touch with him. These weekly encounters are priceless. Meals on Wheels needs your help. During the pandemic, reaching out and staying in touch with our senior population is more important than ever. We want to make sure they have the resources they need and are not suffering from isolation. Meals on Wheels is in need of more volunteers to help make Wellness Check Calls. They really could use people that are multilingual to help reach our diverse population.

Wellness Check Calls
Assist in making structured safety calls to homebound seniors to check in regarding their welfare. This volunteer opportunity can be done remotely on your own time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Click here to sign up for a New Volunteer Orientation! Already completed a Meals on Wheels People background check? Click here to sign up for a Wellness Check Volunteer Orientation!

Learn about this program and other volunteer opportunities with Meals on Wheels here.


Additional Resources

 House District 30 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance


Be good to yourself and each other. ❤

Onward & Upward,


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1430
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-487, Salem, Oregon 97301