COVID-19 Updates 11/25/2020

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Thanksgiving pic

I hope that you and your family will have a safe, relaxing Thanksgiving weekend. I completely understand the strain this virus has taken on our physical and mental health and it feels very heavy at times. Our businesses have felt the financial impacts of this pandemic and are working hard to serve the community and keep doors open. There is plenty of stress and strain to go around. Our hospitals and our health care workers are stretched and strained, by the rising numbers of people that fill their beds and are under their care. Our teachers are strained because comprehensive distance learning is not perfect, and yet they know they joined this profession to reach all of their students and help them succeed and they push forward. All of this that we are experiencing is a lot. It is important for us to look at the things that we can control in our lives and what we can do to help others through this stressful time. It means providing a little more grace, a lot more forgiveness and just being thankful. Thank you all for doing your part during these stressful times.

Governor Updates

New Statewide Risk Level Guidelines

Earlier today, Governor Kate Brown held a press conference to discuss new risk-level guidelines. You can watch that press conference here. See links to new guidelines below:

Governor Kate Brown, Senator Ron Wyden, and Senator Jeff Merkley Urge Congressional Action on COVID-19 Relief

Governor Kate Brown and U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley issued the following statement this week on the urgent need for additional COVID-19 aid:

“Millions of Americans continue to face economic hardships as a result of the urgent and necessary measures states have had to take to curb spiraling COVID-19 infections, preserve hospital beds, and save lives. Many Oregon families already struggling with joblessness, food insecurity, and affording rent are double-impacted by recent statewide measures that have restricted social activities to slow the spread of the virus — and the state’s most vulnerable are particularly impacted, including Latinx, Black, and Indigenous communities.

“Just as we enter what is proving to be the most trying period of the pandemic so far, federal dollars quite literally dry up. Federal aid provided earlier in the year when Oregon was under a Stay Home, Save Lives executive order provided a lifeline to Oregonians, and helped prevent the worst economic impacts of this pandemic. We urge the Senate Majority Leader to step up and work across the aisle to expeditiously pass another robust coronavirus relief bill, immediately; the American people cannot wait until a new session in January.

“COVID-19 support is needed for individuals, in the form of extensions to Unemployment Insurance and additional stimulus; for businesses, by extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); and for city, state, and tribal governments, by providing additional Coronavirus Relief Funds. And robust resources, such as increased testing and contact tracing, are critical to helping states and local public health departments crush this virus.

“As we enter what will likely be the darkest days of this pandemic, additional resources to states, local governments, and tribes will help prevent layoffs and unnecessary cuts to programs, and will enable states to continue important spending on protective equipment, testing, and other public health activities.

“During this time of unprecedented need and heartbreaking loss, our country should come together and provide as much support as possible. Oregonians are counting on our elected officials to rise to the challenge and help them weather this storm.”

A copy of the Governor’s recent letter calling on congressional action is available here.

Oregon Health Authority Updates

On Nov. 20, Pfizer and BioNTech filed a request for an emergency use authorization (EUA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its COVID-19 vaccine. This news is very promising and demonstrates the potential for a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to be available in the coming months, provided it receives federal Emergency Use Authorization.

People who are most affected by the COVID-19 virus will have first access to the vaccination. In Oregon, that will be front-line health care workers who are exposed to the virus in their work. OHA does not know how many doses of these vaccines will be immediately available in Oregon but we expect a limited supply.

The good news comes with a reality check. Vaccination gives us hope that the pandemic will end, but in the meantime, we need to continue safety measures to keep the virus from spreading: Wear a mask, physically distance from others, wash your hands, avoid gatherings and stay home when you’re sick.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has asked all states to share how they plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccine once a safe and effective vaccine is ready. Oregon has submitted a draft vaccine distribution plan, and we are reaching out to public health, health care and community organizations to partner with us as we continue to develop this plan.

Read Oregon's draft vaccination plan.

Staying Safe While Shopping

From the Oregon Health Authority

Shopping local is more important than ever this year, as COVID-19 has created economic hardship for Oregon businesses. During this gift-giving season, one of the best ways to help Oregon is to buy gifts locally – and safely.

During the current statewide “freeze,” retailers must adhere to capacity limits. Many local stores are offering online shopping options and curbside pickup. If you do shop in person, avoid lines and crowds and follow these safety precautions.

Shopping Graphic

Eviction Moratorium/Residential and Commercial Property Relief Update

On Monday the House Committee on Housing met to discuss an extension of the rental eviction moratorium until July 1, 2021. The proposal also includes the establishment of a Landlord Compensation Fund. Tenants will have to submit a sworn statement that after March 16, 2020 (the date of the Governor’s Stay Home, Save Lives order), they experienced financial hardship impacting their ability to pay rent. Impacts can include:

  • Loss of household income;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Loss of work or wages;
  • Increased childcare responsibilities or responsibilities to care for a person with a disability or a person who is elderly, injured, or sick;
  • Increased costs for childcare, caring for a person with a disability or who is elderly, injured, or sick; or
  • Other circumstances that have reduced income or increased expenses.

Landlords will apply for rent assistance through Oregon Housing and Community Services (envisioned as an easy website portal) on behalf of all their tenants who owe rent payments. Smaller landlords and landlords with a higher percentage of unpaid rent will be prioritized for assistance first. The fund will grant landlords up to 80% of the total unpaid back rent they are owed; landlords will be required to forgive the remaining 20% to make tenants current on their rent payments. I have participated in several discussions with local residential and commercial property owners to hear their needs and take their feedback to my colleagues that are working on these issues. I have heard that the needs for funding are greater than the amounts proposed to be allocated and there is worry on just how much this can actually solve of the issue. Their hope is also that the funds are distributed quickly and efficiently. Our local property owners have been diligently working with their tenants and they need the relief as well. By putting the focus on our Main Street small landlords, the ones that have direct community connections, that can mean more for our local economy. As more of them sell their properties, we run the risk of larger, out of state investors securing properties that may not have the personal connection to the communities that we live in. If you are an impacted landlord and have questions regarding this process, please reach out to my office:  

Employment Department Updates

Waiting Week Payments

From the Oregon Employment Department

Monday, we started issuing payments for the waiting week! Expect to see your waiting week payments in the next 3 business days (excluding holidays) via your regular method. If you receive PEUC, Extended Benefits, or Workshare, we have to manually process your payment. This can take up to 30 to 60 days. You DO NOT need to call us about your ‘waiting week.’

Visit our FAQs at to learn how much money you’ll receive and how to check your waiting week amount.

Waiting Week Payments

How Do I Restart My Claim?

From the Oregon Employment Department

Oregon is in a statewide Two-Week Freeze and many Oregonians might need to file for benefits again. Our FAQs may have answers to your questions and can help you restart your claim. If you receive an error message while trying to restart your claim, please submit a request through our Contact Us form.

Find frequently asked questions at

Restart Claim Graphic

Washington County Updates

Washington County’s Safe Sleep Programs

From Washington County

The operations of two emergency measures aimed at reducing the risk of COVID-19 are undergoing some adjustments to better meet the needs of the County’s houseless community.

In August, Washington County opened the Safe Sleep Village (SSV), a temporary, managed outdoor camping location for houseless adults at the Westside Commons (formerly known as the Washington County Fair Complex). The program successfully sheltered over 100 individuals who were living at several informal camps throughout the County, with little or no access to resources needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Due to recent harsh weather conditions, including overnight freezing temperatures, the Safe Sleep Village has been closed and all remaining campers have transitioned to the County’s Severe Winter Shelter Network, a few weeks earlier than originally planned.

A related temporary emergency program launched nearby in early October has provided a similar “Safe Sleep” opportunity for houseless adults sheltering in recreational vehicles. Located on County-owned property south of Veterans Drive and just east of NE 25th Avenue in Hillsboro, the Safe Sleep RV (SSRV) Program continues to host individuals in 28 camp sites and provide onsite management and 24-hour security.

Due to the success of the SSRV Program, the County has requested an extension of the Temporary Use Permit issued by the City of Hillsboro to continue operations through December 30. Washington County is extremely grateful to the City of Hillsboro for its partnership in this effort, as well as the Safe Sleep Village, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among the vulnerable houseless community and protect public health.

The Safe Sleep Village and Safe Sleep RV programs have been fully funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, providing federal funding to protect public health and respond to the impacts of COVID-19. Visit the links below to read more about:

Community Outreach

Tree Lighting

Additional Resources

 House District 30 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance

This weekend my plans are to focus on who and what I am thankful for. I hope that you are able to enjoy some down time, play a family game, decorate for the holidays, and enjoy good food with those you love. Let others know in your circle how much you appreciate them and love them. While these holidays are strained and different, we don’t need to lose touch with the ones we love. We just have to be a little more creative in our efforts for outreach. I feel my grandson’s range of emotions – while I am sad to not be with him in-person, we will meet in the virtual world and sing songs and read stories and still get to see each other’s faces.❤ 


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