COVID-19 Updates 11/3/2020

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Education Updates

New School Reopening Metrics

On Friday, Governor Brown hosted a press conference to discuss COVID-19 response, and updates to the metrics for returning to in-person instruction. You can access that press conference using this link (ASL and closed captioning provided).  

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released updated metrics for students returning to in-person instruction. These updated metrics are based on data from school districts across the country that has become available since Oregon first issued school metrics in August, in consultation with the Governor’s Healthy Schools Reopening Council and the Governor’s Medical Advisory Panel.  

It is clear that COVID-19 is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and most Oregon students have not been able to learn in a classroom since last March. In-person instruction is critical not only for students’ educational success, but also for their health and wellbeing. In communities that meet the new metrics for COVID-19 spread, additional students will be able to return to the classroom, with schools adhering to the Ready Schools, Safe Learners health and safety protocols established by ODE and OHA to mitigate infection risks. However, in many communities across Oregon, more work must be done to contain the spread of this disease before students will be able to return to the classroom.


  • ODE has released an update to their Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance today, which will include updated details about the health and safety protocols schools must have in place to return to in-person instruction.   
  • The Metrics Dashboard is still being updated, but it will be available here soon.
  • ODE Metrics Guidance
  • List of the Counties where schools will be eligible to return to at least some in-person instruction for students

Enforcement: If you believe a school is not in compliance with the safety requirements you can file a named or anonymous complaint with Oregon OSHA at 1-833-604-0884 or online here

Key Changes To Metrics:

  • Measurement period, 2-week average: County metrics will be measured for one, 2-week period instead of three 1-week periods. Particularly in small counties with low case counts, a small change in the number of cases in one week could have prevented schools from opening under the previous metrics.
  • Remove statewide positivity metric: Holding all districts to a statewide positivity metric has led some schools to remain closed even when community metrics are at safer level—now only a county’s positivity rate will be used.
  • Elementary School (K-6): Elementary schools provide the best opportunity for maintaining small cohorts. This group of students also has the most difficulty with comprehensive distance learning and individual study—young students are still learning to read, and can still have difficulty reading to learn. Under previous metrics, only K-3 students were allowed to return to school first, meaning that elementary schools could reopen in some districts but 4th, 5th, and 6th graders could not return to their school. Under new guidance, OHA and ODE have determined that students in grade K-6 can return so long as strict protocols are followed and with consultation with local public health. 
  • New metrics for in-person instruction: A full guidance document from ODE explaining the new metrics for in-person instruction is available below and linked here.
  • Local decision-making: No metrics can account for all situations, particularly in a state as large and diverse as Oregon. In addition, school districts need time to plan to shift from distance learning to in-person instruction, or back if necessary. Under the new school metrics, school districts, in consultation with local public health, will make final decisions about when schools can move to in-person instruction. ODE and OHA will advise school districts during that process, and will confirm with school districts when their county has satisfied the required metrics for the return to in-person instruction. ODE, OHA, and Oregon OSHA will work together to ensure that school districts are meeting state standards for reducing risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the learning and working environment for students and staff.
School Metric updates

List of Oregon counties and where they currently fall under the updated guidelines.

Counties for Reopening Graphic

Hillsboro School District-School Board Special Session

The Hillsboro School District will meet on Monday 11/9 at 5:15 for a work session to discuss the Oregon Department of Education revised school metrics.

Small Business Updates

4th Round of Accepting Grant Applications for Small Businesses in Washington County is Now Open

WashCo Business Recovery

From Washington County Business Recovery

The Washington County Board of Commissioners is providing another round of grants to small businesses.  We are partnering with Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) to distribute the grants.

Eligible businesses must:

  • Be physically located in Washington County
  • Have been impacted by COVID-19 by:
    • Were closed by the “Stay Home. Save Lives.” Executive Order; OR
    • Lost 10% or more revenue as a result of the COVID-19 regulations
  • Have been in operation since March 23, 2020
  • Have 25 full-time equivalent employees or fewer over the last year
  • Be a for-profit business
  • Be compliant with all federal, state and local regulations and taxes as of December 31, 2019
  • Be registered with the state or be exempt from registration requirements

Eligible businesses MUST NOT:

  • Be a passive real estate holding company or other entity holding a passive investment in a small business with no operational ties to the business
  • Be an adult-orient business (meaning a business that emphasizes sexually oriented products or services, for example a strip club or adult bookstore)
  • Get a majority of income from gambling activities
  • Have more than $5 million in gross revenue in 2019
  • Be a franchise that is not individually owned

All eligible businesses are encouraged to apply.  Previous grant recipients are eligible to apply to this round.  Business owners operating more than one business will be eligible for one grant for a single business.

Apply here      

If you need help with filling out the application, reach out to any of the Business Resource Centers.

After applying, please watch for an e-mail from MESO after you submit the application.

Department of Human Services Updates

Long-Term Care Facilities

From the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS)

APD made two significant updates in the past week related to COVID-19 testing and visitation in the state’s 683 large long-term care facilities.

Visitation - APD updated its long-term care visitation policy to allow for limited indoor visitation, under strict controls, at nursing, assisted living, residential care facilities starting on Nov. 2, 2020.  The visitation policy for adult foster homes is still under development. 

This policy change is the result of extensive consultation and collaboration among many different stakeholders including the following considerations:

  • Availability of COVID-19 testing and turnaround times for test results;
  • Availability of personal protective equipment;
  • Long-term care facilities’ overall track record in preventing and controlling outbreaks;
  • Oregon’s low ranking for per-capita COVID-19 infections and its many prevention-oriented policies;
  • The ongoing hardship and detrimental impacts on well-being caused by no onsite, indoor visitation option for long-term care residents, their families and friends.

The limited indoor visitation policy is a small step forward in promoting quality of life balanced with the risks it introduces.  APD will be monitoring the effects of this policy change closely.  If there is evidence that these policies are having an overall detrimental effect on the safety of long-term care residents and staff, APD will revisit this policy decision. 

Long-term care facility testing plan – APD and Oregon Health Authority moved into Phase Two of the Governor’s Long-Term Care Facility Testing Plan requiring routine testing for staff and associated staff. The new requirements start on Nov. 1, 2020.  More details about Phase Two are available on the plan’s webpage; updates are summarized on this fact sheet. Additional information available includes:

Department of Consumer and Business Services Updates

COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program

From the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS)

The COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program is available to people who need to quarantine or isolate because of COVID-19 exposure or are experiencing symptoms and need to get a medical diagnosis. The program is for people who do not qualify for COVID-19-related paid sick leave or access to COVID-19-related paid time off. Additional qualifications include confirmations that the applicant is:

  • Working in a business or at a job site in Oregon at the time of application;
  • Expected to earn less than $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020;
  • Not able to work (including telework) because of the need to quarantine or isolate;
  • Not seeking or using benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs, unemployment insurance, or workers’ compensation in Oregon or another state;
  • Not seeking or using other forms of employer-provided paid for the same time period; 
  • Not laid off or furloughed at the time of application; and
  • Has notified their employer of the need to quarantine or isolate.

Qualified workers will receive a $120 per-day payment for up to 10 working days ($1,200 total), for the time they need to quarantine or isolate. Because the available funds are limited, the program is available only to quarantine periods that were in place on or after Sept. 16. Applicants can claim only one quarantine period.

Similar to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), self-employed Oregonians do not qualify for benefits.  

For more information or to apply, go to, or call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The website also has an eligibility quiz (available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Simplified Chinese) to help people who are not sure if they qualify.

The online application is available in English, Spanish, and Russian. Those who do not have access to the internet can call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130. Those who need help in another language can call 503-947-0131, with additional information available at

DMV Customer Service Updates

Thank you to Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for providing the following updates.

Drive Tests

  • Last week, we released drive test appointments at select field offices around the state (John Day, Burns, Ontario, Baker, La Grande, Enterprise, Pendleton, Milton-Freewater, Hermiston, Hood River, The Dalles, Gresham, Gladstone, Woodburn, Salem, Corvallis). These appointments will begin Monday.
  • By Nov 16 all DMV offices across the state will resume drive testing.
  • Additionally, 3rd party drive testing businesses continue to expand their number of examiners. We expect to reach our goal of 37 examiners by mid-November. We have also increased the number of third party tests that can be administered by a single tester in a single day from 16 to 20.

Field Offices

  • Weekly customer visits to field offices surpassed 25,000 for the second week in a row, up from ~19,000 at the beginning of October.
  • 42 field offices are offering walk-up services for those without an appointment.

Call Centers

  • As of October 23rd, average call center wait times have remained steady at just under 1 hour. With satellite call centers back at full capacity, we know anecdotally that the hold times are declining. However, our data in the next few weeks will show true hold times.
  • All Call Center initiatives remain on track, with the first group of phone agents hired in mid-October; once these folks get up and running hold times will hopefully decline even further.
  • Negotiations with IBM are complete, and a contract has been executed for the deployment of artificial intelligence technology to assist with easy-to-answer customer calls. This initiative remains on track, with a go-live date of January 1st.

Vehicle Transactions

  • Title production continues to trend upward.
  • 9 additional title transaction specialists have been hired and will begin training next week.
  • 8 temporary employees have been hired to assist title transaction specialists.

Knowledge Tests

  • Knowledge tests have increased after the installation of additional physical barriers in field offices, now reaching just under 7,000/week, well above the 2019 average of ~5,600.

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