October 27th Update: COVID-19 and Wildfires

You can read our previous newsletters here.

View in Browser

Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

Halloween is almost here, so make a plan for some safe and fun activities! Here are some local and online options:

Governor Brown has an online costume contest, you can compete using #spookysafeoregon

The Cornelius Library will have a Trick or Treat To-Go Event

The Forest Grove "Trick or Treat the Merchants" event will be a bit different this year to keep participants safe, you will need to register in advance and follow an fixed route.  

Keep yourselves and our community safe, while having a spooky, fun time!


COVID-19 Updates:

New Developments

  • Governor Brown Extends State of Emergency: Governor Kate Brown today extended her declaration of a state of emergency regarding COVID-19 for an additional 60 days, until January 2, 2021. The state of emergency declaration is the legal underpinning for the executive orders the Governor has issued to keep Oregonians healthy and safe throughout this crisis, including her orders on reopening Oregon while maintaining essential health and safety protections, as well as orders around childcare, schools, and higher education operations. Extending the state of emergency declaration allows those orders to stay in effect. The Governor reviews and reevaluates each of her emergency orders every 60 days, to determine whether those orders should be continued, modified, or rescinded. The findings of this review process are listed in the executive order.
  • Oregon and other western states join California’s Scientific Safety Review Workgroup to Ensure Safety 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. 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.
  • School Reopening Metrics: Oregon students, families and teachers are working so hard to make the best of comprehensive distance learning, but I know many are frustrated and eager for a safe return to the classroom.  Washington County is still not meeting the case metrics we need to meet for a safe return to in-person instruction.  As a county and a state we need to get our test positivity rate back below 5% for three weeks, and reduce our case count to less than 30 cases per 100,000.  Below you will find graphics showing the current status of Washington County School Metrics, and the stages of instruction for Hillsboro School District.  Both images will link you to more information.  


Washington County School Metrics
Stages of Instruction
  • What do I do after I get a COVID-19 Test? Multnomah, Clackamas, Columbia and Washington County worked together to put together a comprehensive guide to help people who have been tested for COVID-19. The document includes information on isolation and quarantine, what you can and can't do, how to tell close contacts you tested positive, telling your employer, ways to manage respiratory symptoms at home, how to stop the spread of germs, using a face covering properly and more.
What to do if I get tested?
  • Smoking or Vaping and COVID-19: OHA wants you to know that 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. Quitting smoking and vaping is hard, but free resources to help you quit are available to everyone in Oregon. 
smoking and COVID-19

Case Data

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 8,680,611 (up 63,589 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 63,589 (up 483 from yesterday)
    • Cases in the Last 7 days: 492,026
    • These national numbers come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  You can view their national and state by state data here
  • Oregon Status Report:  Oregon now has 42,808 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  
    • Today we have 391 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 9 new deaths. 
    • Monday: 339 cases, 2 deaths
    • Sunday: 366 cases, 0 deaths
    • Saturday: 399 cases, 4 deaths
    • A total of 664 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.  
  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 5,838 confirmed cases, including 50 new cases today.  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below. 
  • The Oregon Health Authority recently provided a Public Health Indicators Dashboard to enable communities across Oregon to monitor COVID-19 in the state.The dashboard, which will be updated weekly on Thursdays, provides a transparent report that presents complex epidemiological data in an interactive, easy-to-understand way on a state and county level. 
  • Hospital Capacity: As we continue to see rising case numbers, more COVID-19 patients are being treated in hospitals.  This is again impacting the capacity of our hospitals, and underscores the importance of gaining more control of case numbers.  Thankfully, our emergency response teams and hospitals have worked together and have plans for ramping up capacity if need continues to grow, but we should all continue to work to keep that from being necessary.  You can look at the figure below, and click the image to view an interactive dashboard for hospital capacity.  
Hospital Capacity 10/27

Hospital Bed Capacity and Availability by Region

Daily Update 10/27

Table showing Oregon case, testing and demographic data, link to more information

Wildfire Updates:

Legal Help from the Oregon State Bar:

The Oregon State Bar is working with FEMA and the American Red Cross in response to the wildfires throughout Oregon.  Their goal is to provide legal advice and guidance to community members who are already dealing with devastating losses.

Oregon lawyers, through the Oregon State Bar, are partnering with FEMA and the American Red Cross to provide legal assistance on FEMA claims, contract claims, insurance claims, landlord-tenant matters and more. If you need assistance, please contact the Oregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Program to be directed to a lawyer in your area.  

FEMA Update: How to Appeal a FEMA Disaster Assistance Decision

The full factsheet from FEMA is available here.  Disaster survivors affected by wildfires and straight-line winds may receive a letter from FEMA stating they are ineligible for assistance, but this may not be the final word. If an applicant believes FEMA’s decision was incorrect, they can file an appeal with FEMA.

The first step is for applicants to read their determination letter carefully to understand why FEMA decided the application was “ineligible.” Many times, it could be something as simple as providing missing documents or information.

Important Documents to Include with an Appeal Letter:

Often, applicants need only to submit extra documents for FEMA to process their application. FEMA may find an applicant ineligible if the following documents are missing:

  • Insurance documents: Provide documents from your insurance company that show your policy coverage and/or settlement is not enough to make essential home repairs, provide a place to stay, or replace certain contents. FEMA cannot duplicate homeowner or renter insurance benefits.
  • Proof of occupancy: Provide documents that prove the damaged home or rental was your primary residence by supplying a copy of utility bills, driver’s license or lease.
  • Proof of ownership. Provide mortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts or a deed. If you don’t have a deed handy, contact your local or county officials about obtaining a copy.
  • Lost documents? Visit the following website for information on replacing lost documents: https://www.usa.gov/replace-vital-documents

All appeals must be in writing. The appeal letter should explain why the applicant thinks FEMA’s decision is not correct. When filing an appeal, it is important to include any documentation FEMA requests and/or that supports the appeal claim. Also, if the person writing the appeal letter is not the applicant or a member of the household, applicants must submit a signed statement that the writer is authorized to act on the behalf of the applicant.

How to Submit an Appeal

IMPORTANT: Be sure to include the cover letter you received from FEMA when you submit your appeal documents.

  •  Mail documents and your appeal letter within 60 days of receiving your determination letter to: FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055 
  • Fax them to 800-827-8112.
  • To set up a FEMA online account or to upload documents online, visit disasterassistance.gov and click on “Check Your Application and Log In” and follow the directions.

Applicants will receive a decision letter within 90 days of FEMA's receipt of your appeal.

Those who need help understanding their letter can call FEMA at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Those who use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their assigned number for that service. They should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number. Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish) 

Human Impacts

Wildfire Resources:

OEM has put together this list of contacts to help speed up the process of replacing these documents:

  • Green cards: Phone (800)-375-5283; Website: www.uscis.gov
  • Medicare cards: Phone: (800)-772-1213; (TTY) (800)-325-0778 Website: www.medicare.gov
  • Military records Phone: 866-272-6272 Website: www.archives.gov/contact/
  • Passport Phone: 877-487-2778; (TTY) 888-874-7793 Website: travel.state.gov
  • Social Security card Phone: 800-772-1213; (TTY) 800-325-0778 Website: www.ssa.gov
  • U.S. Savings Bonds Phone: 844-284-2676 Website: www.treasurydirect.gov
  • U.S. tax returns Phone: 800-829-1040 Website: www.irs.gov
  • Birth, death, marriage, domestic partnership, divorce certificates Phone: 888-896-4988 Website: www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Birthdeathcertificates
  • Driver’s license, auto titles and registration, ID cards Phone: 503-945-5000 Website: www.oregon.gov/odot
  • SNAP (Oregon Trail Card) Website: www.oregon.gov/DHS/Assistance/Food-Benefits
  • State taxes (Oregon Dept. of Revenue) Phone: 503-378-4988 or 800-356-4222 TTY: All relay calls are accepted. Website: www.oregon.gov/dor
  • Real estate and property - Contact your county government.
  • Credit cards - Contact your credit card company directly.
  • Credit reports from Equifax, Experian, TransUnion Phone: 877-322-8228 Website: www.annualcreditreport.com
  • Insurance documents - Check with your insurance agent.
  • Medical records - Call your doctor or your medical insurance company; medical and prescription records are tracked electronically.

The Governor’s office has put together a Wildfire Resources page that you can access from the Governor’s home page.  It has links to many of the most important updates about the status of fires and resources for evacuees.  This website will be updated regularly.  

The Department of Forestry’s Wildfire Response and Recovery Overview has ongoing updates about firefighting efforts, damage reports, and more.  

FEMA Updates: FEMA has provided several different Fact Sheets and resources for accessing benefits, determining eligibility and avoiding scams.

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


View Past Updates, Share and Subscribe: 

If there was COVID-related information in a past newsletter that you want to go back to, but find you’ve deleted it, you can always go to my legislative website (http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain), click on “News and Information,” and you’ll find them all there. You can also share this site with your friends and loved ones, so they can view past newsletters, and subscribe to future updates.  


Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain