COVID-19 Updates 11/17/2020

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Governor Updates

The new measures include:

  • Limiting social get-togethers (indoors and outdoors) to no more than six people, total, from no more than two households.
  • Limiting faith-based organizations to a maximum of 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.
  • Limiting eating and drinking establishments to take-out and delivery only.
  • Closing gyms and fitness organizations.
  • Closing indoor recreational facilities, museums, indoor entertainment activities, and indoor pools and sports courts.
  • Closing zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor entertainment activities, and outdoor pools.
  • Limiting grocery stores and pharmacies to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.
  • Limiting retail stores and retail malls (indoor and outdoor) to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.
  • Closing venues (that host or facilitate indoor or outdoor events).
  • Requiring all businesses to mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible and closing offices to the public.
  • Prohibiting indoor visiting in long-term care facilities (outdoor visitation permitted for supporting quality of life).

Read the Governor's full press release here.

Two Week Pause

Oregon, California & Washington Issue Travel Advisories

In light of rising cases, West Coast states issue travel advisories recommending 14-day quarantines for inter-state and international travel; asks residents to stay local.

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country, Governor Kate Brown, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued travel advisories today urging visitors entering their states or returning home from travel outside these states to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus. The travel advisories urge against non-essential out-of-state travel, ask people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country, and encourage residents to stay local.

“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines. As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them,” said Governor Brown. “If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”

To learn more about the risk that travel itself poses for COVID-19 exposure, please visit the CDC page on travel risks.

Oregon Travel Advisory 11/13/2020

The incidence of COVID-19 is increasing in many states and countries. Persons arriving in Oregon from other states or Oregonians returning from other states or countries could increase the risk of COVID-19 spread. In addition, travel itself can be a risk for exposure to COVID-19, particularly travel through shared conveyance such as air, bus or rail travel.

Travel Advisory for Non-Essential Travel

1. Persons arriving in Oregon from other states or countries, including returning Oregon residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. These persons should limit their interactions to their immediate household. This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel.

Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.

Essential travel includes: work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.

2. Oregonians are encouraged to stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries. Avoiding travel can reduce the risk of virus transmission and bringing the virus back to Oregon.

Read the Governor's full press release here.

Oregon Health Authority Updates

COVID-19 Epidemic Trends and Projections in Oregon

From the Oregon Health Authority

On Thursday, the Oregon Health Authority released their latest modeling, which indicates a steep increase in the spread of COVID-19 dating back to early November:

According to the model, the effective reproduction rate – the expected number of secondary cases that a single case generates – was estimated to be between 1.25 and 1.69, with an estimate of 1.47.

The current level of transmission could result in “exponential” growth, resulting in approximately 1,500 new daily cases over the next two weeks. The model does have limitations, including that it is based on Oregon data only through November.

According to the model, if Oregonians collectively wear masks, keep physical distance, restrict social gatherings and maintain good hand hygiene to slow the spread of the virus, new cases would remain historically high for a short time before decreasing.
Social gatherings continue to fuel transmission. We're urging Oregonians to rethink their social activities over the next few weeks and to reconsider their holiday plans.

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Quarantine v. Self-Isolation

From the Oregon Health Authority

With a large increase in cases across the state, more people are being asked to quarantine and self-isolate to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Quarantine keeps someone who was exposed to a person with COVID-19 away from others. Isolation keeps someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms away from others, even in their own home. You can learn more about quarantining and self-isolation below.

Quarantine GraphicSelf Isolate Graphic

Just How is Coronavirus Spreading in Record Numbers in Oregon?

Read this article from the Oregonian and see the graphic they shared below to get an idea of how coronavirus is spreading in Oregon.

Spreading graphic

Lincoln County published a COVID-19 case study to illustrate how the virus spreads through the community.

Unemployment Insurance Updates

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

Focus Adjudication: Nearly halfway through Sept. 30 number

  • As of Sept. 30, 2020, approximately 52,000 people had claims in adjudication that we are working to resolve.
  • This week, of that 52,000, there are approximately 25,300 people with claims in adjudication. 

Restarting claims: Information for resuming benefits during 2-week pause

  • With increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Oregon, and a two-week pause called for statewide, some Oregonians who have gone back to work may need to file for unemployment benefits again.
  • The Employment Department is ready to help claimants who need assistance.
  • Our Online Claim System here has a Restart Your Claim option (it’s the 8th button down).
  • For more information on restarting claims or moving to a new benefit program, visit this FAQ.

Bank account freezes

  • We are aware that some financial institutions are locking people out of their bank accounts after we deposit unemployment benefits. Some banks have account security measures to protect customers against fraud when there is suspicious activity.
  • There is nothing OED can do to bypass a bank's security procedures. We recommend constituents contact their bank and follow their advice for unlocking the account. If you still need our help, people can use the Contact Us form, select “My weekly payment or missing payment,” and explain the situation to us in the comment box.

LWA Certification: We continue encouraging claimants to certify

  • To be eligible for LWA, claimants who receive UI, PEUC, or EB benefits must self-certify that their unemployment or partial unemployment is due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Anyone who has not yet certified their eligibility for LWA must do so to avoid having to return the funds. (As with all benefit programs, federal law requires us to recover benefits paid out to people who do not meet legal eligibility requirements.)
  • We are continuing to encourage claimants to certify for LWA, and are contacting them directly with this information. Last week we shared that nearly 31,500 claimants still needed to certify; this week, that number is down to approximately 25,000 claimants.
  • Claimants should self-certify as soon as possible using the Online Claims System.

Benefit Denials: Questions and answers

  • We have been getting questions from about why benefits are denied. Here is a link to some answers on our website here
  • Some denial decisions are reversed when we get more information or if we determine that the denial was an error on our part.

Waiting week: On-track for end of November

  • We remain on track to begin paying out the waiting week by the end of November, and continue testing changes made to the mainframe so we can identify potential issues and work on corrections. While we are doing everything we can to pay out the waiting week as quickly as possible, because we are still testing we do not know if it will be possible to start issuing payments before Thanksgiving.
  • We will soon share additional information about the waiting week, including what Oregonians can expect regarding their waiting week payment.

Employer payroll tax rates announced

  • Friday, we announced the 2021 payroll tax schedule, and employers will receive their individual 2021 tax rates soon after. 
  • Visit our website for more information about the 2021 payroll tax schedule and tax rates.

Next unemployment webinar

  • The next unemployment insurance webinar will cover our Extended Benefits program and the federal unemployment benefit programs coming to an end in December. The webinar begins 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19. Register here

PFMLI virtual town halls

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Community Outreach

TV Creates

Tualatin Valley Creates (TVC) is seeking artists and cultural advocates for their second annual Arts & Culture Leadership Incubator program! Applicants should reside in Washington County, OR and have a passion for building creative projects that incorporate social activism.

The Incubator Program is free to apply to and participate in, and those who complete the program will receive a $500 stipend to help advance their work.

Interactive arts-entrepreneurial training workshop topics will include strategizing personal/professional goals, small business practices, collaborative public art efforts, community activism practices, self-promotion methods and the use of social media, finding funding and grant sources, and the importance of relevant critical writing and artists statements.

You will be part of a small, diverse cohort of peers who are turning arts and culture visions into realities. Find the inspiration and tools you need to overcome barriers to realize and sustain an artistic profession. All while fostering meaningful engagement within your community.

This year’s cohort will include up to 10 individuals from Washington County. We especially encourage applicants from traditionally under-served populations. Traditionally under-served populations in Washington County include people under 40, people of color, LGBTQ+, people experiencing income disparity, and people with disabilities, among others.

Take your practice to the next level by applying today! Please complete the application questions below and submit as a single PDF to by December 1, 2020 or consideration.

Apply Here

Additional Resources

 House District 30 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance

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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