Time for Some Holiday Cheer!

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Christmas at the Oregon Capitol

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

In between two weeks of Legislative Days, I’ve found some time for one of my favorite holiday activities - baking and decorating cookies!  Make sure to find some time to celebrate this holiday season, even though our celebrations have to look different this year.  Here are some of my suggestions for safe activities this season:

Decorate cookies with family members via Zoom while sharing old stories and traditions, and then spread some holiday cheer by dropping cookies at the doors of your friends and family.  

Decorating Christmas Cookies


Take a poinsettia to a friend or neighbor who’s been special to you this year to thank them for their kindness.



Share stories and histories of all your special holiday decorations so that generations to come will know and appreciate their meaning.

Holiday Décor


This year, ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo will be a drive-thru event. Tickets must be purchased in advance by reserving a specific date and time. Tickets are released on a 7 day rolling schedule, so be sure to check back if the current week is sold out. Find more information and get your tickets here.

Zoo Lights Display


Lightopia – An Illuminated Journey:  A FREE Illuminated Journey that is open Friday, November 27 through Saturday, January 30.  This brilliant third of a mile drive-through attraction features thousands of feet of lights and seasonal light vignettes ranging from funny and familiar (think: Santa’s elves) to dazzling that will delight folks young and old. Your Lightopia passage will include a free treat, a 30-minute drive through the route, and a concurrent audio program timed to the light display (must have a working FM car radio).

You are encouraged to bring an item to donate for the Hillsboro Firefighters Random Acts of Kindness and Hillsboro Elks Lodge “Toy & Joy” holiday toy drive from November 27 through December 10 or a nonperishable food donation for our local food banks from December 11 through January 30. For information, visit their website here.

Lightopia Advertisement


  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 15,271,571 (up 231.396 from yesterday)
    • Cases in the last 7 days: 1,449,410
    • Deaths: 288,762 (up 3,411 from yesterday)
    • 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 89,838 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19. 
    • Today we have 1,586 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 13 new deaths. 
    • A total of 1,123 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.
      • (previous daily case updates from OHA here)
  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 12,767 confirmed cases, including 271 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

Map of Oregon counties with Covid Data
Washington County Covid Statistics


Overview of Covid Data in Oregon



How can I receive food through SNAP, Meals on Wheels, Oregon Food Bank, or other programs?

How can I manage the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic?

Where can I get tested? Are tests free?

Where can I get answers about the eviction moratorium?

Will my utilities stay on if I can’t pay?

What resources are available to help me keep my company in business?

What happens if I get laid off due to the coronavirus?

What support is available for immigrants and asylees? 



Small Business Navigator Program: Are you a small business owner looking for support during the pandemic? Business Oregon's Small Business Navigator program might be able to help. Learn more about grants and resources available to you http://www.oregon4biz.com/Coronavirus-Information/

Washington County Extends Deadline for Coronavirus Relief Funds:  Washington County has extended the deadline for food service and tourist establishments to apply for Coronavirus Relief Funds until December 16, 2020. Eligible businesses can receive $500-$4,900 for operational expenses. The amount a business can receive is at least as much as their annual license fee.  Business owners can apply online at www.co.washington.or.us/foodandtouristassistance by filling out a simple form and attaching their W-9. Owners with multiple food service and tourist licenses will need to complete a separate application for each license. To request a hard copy of the application, call Washington County Environmental Health at 503-846-8722.

Washington County Business Recovery Centers - Washington Co. Business Recovery Centers provide resources for Washington County businesses to reopen and recover. We offer complimentary business consulting services to our community's small businesses.https://www.businessrecoverycenters.org/


Student Loan Payment Pause Extended 30 Days by Education Department: The federal student loan administrative forbearance period has suspended collection activity through January 31. 2021. Federal student loan borrowers will not be expected to make payments through January of next year, though they will continue to be able to do so and benefit from the 0% interest rate as they pay down principal. Non-payments will continue to count toward the number of payments required under an income-driven repayment plan, a loan rehabilitation agreement, or the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Read an article on the extension here.

From Congresswoman Bonamici: "Student loan borrowers need relief during the pandemic. There was a suspension of payments for those with federal student loans, but that was set to expire December 31. I’m glad the Department of Education granted a one-month extension through January 31, 2021, but more help will be needed. I will continue fighting for aid for those with student loans throughout the pandemic."

Oregon Department of Education offers Mental Health Toolkit: Today the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) launched a new webpage focused on Mental Health and Well-Being and a Mental Health Toolkit to assist school districts, leaders, administrators, staff and school based-mental health professionals. Their focus is to celebrates the unique qualities that each person, family, and group bring to the school community.


Benefits Expiring – Week Ending December 26, 2020

From State of Oregon Employment Department:

Without any extensions to the CARES Act, PUA and PEUC are set to end the week ending Dec. 26. 

  • We have a webinar you can review about  the ending of CARES Act programs and the reduction in number weeks of benefits under Extended Benefits. You can see our webinars, by visiting unemployment.oregon.gov/webinars.
  • As we stated last week, starting Dec. 13 the extended benefits extension program will shift from High Extended Benefits, which provided up to 20 weeks of benefits to Extended Benefits, which provides up to 13 weeks of benefits. 
  • If someone has already received 13 weeks of EB, they may be able to receive PUA benefits for the few weeks remaining in the year before that program expires on Dec. 26. 
    • That only can happen if their unemployment fits one of the CARES Act listed criteria for being COVID-19 impacted. 
    • To apply for PUA, claimants should use the Online Claim System. The online PUA application is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Korean, and Arabic
  • The loss of this safety net is going to be incredibly difficult. While we cannot offer more benefits without new legislation, we encourage Oregonians to seek additional resources:
    • Free or low-cost health coverage through the Oregon Health Plan, even if someone has been denied in the past. Visit OregonHealthCare.gov or call 800-699-9075.
    • For assistance paying for rent or groceries, accessing child care or transportation, and accessing other critical resources, visit https://211info.org or call 2-1-1.
    • For job seeking assistance and support, contact your local WorkSource center. Companies are hiring, and they are reaching out to us for help finding new employees. Visit http://www.worksourceoregon.org/Centers.html for more.


Assessing alcohol consumption during COVID-19

The year is almost behind us, and it’s been a rough one. As we look for different ways to add cheer to the holiday season, it’s important to remember the risks related to alcohol use and COVID-19:  

  • Alcohol use can increase the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia, which are sometimes associated with COVID-19. 
  • Poor decision-making from drinking alcohol may lead to abandoning habits that help keep all of us safe, such as physical distancing and wearing a mask or face covering.  

Heavy alcohol use also increases the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), one of the most severe complications of COVID-19. 

Learn more: 


Alcohol and Covid


How to get a COVID-19 test

We understand that getting tested for COVID-19 can seem daunting, especially if you aren’t feeling well. Here’s what you need to know about getting tested in Oregon: 

Who should get tested? 

  • You should get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you were a close contact of someone with COVID-19.  Close contact means being within six feet of someone for 15 minutes or more over the course of a day, with or without a mask or face covering. 
  • If you are getting tested because you had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it’s best if you wait three to four days after you were together before taking a test. The test may not work if you get tested too soon. You should stay home and away from others while you wait. 

Where to get tested 

  • If you have insurance, contact your health care provider or use the map on Oregon Health Authority’s testing webpage to find a clinic near you. Most insurance providers cover the costs of COVID-19 testing and associated care. 
  • If you need a free community testing event, you can find a list of upcoming events on the Do I Need a COVID-19? Test website. You’ll need to register and create a new user account that will ask for contact information. This will let you schedule an appointment for your selected event and get your test results. Because of the high demand for COVID-19 tests, an appointment and voucher are required for testing, one person per appointment. If there are no appointments available, please select another location and date. Only those with appointments are guaranteed a test.  

Need help? You can also call 211 for help finding a testing site


Health care coverage for uninsured Oregonians

Do you need health insurance? Many Oregonians who are uninsured may qualify for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) or for help paying for coverage through the Marketplace. Oregon’s Marketplace open enrollment runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 and is the only time of year many people can buy private health insurance. If you have recently lost a job or insurance through your employer, have experienced a change in income, or had other major life changes, you are eligible to sign up for health insurance plans through the Marketplace for a 60-day special enrollment period after a qualifying event such as job loss.  

You can apply for the Oregon Health Plan at OHP.Oregon.gov at any time. To find out what coverage and savings are available to you, visit OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop.  


Cover Oregon Advertisement



As always, don’t forget to mask up!  We know MASKS WORK!

Wearing a mask works!

Additional Resources

Wildfire Recovery 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.  

Legal Resources: Oregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Program, 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.

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.



Oregon Health Authority


Employers and Employees

Unemployment options at https://unemployment.oregon.gov/

Oregon Secretary of State’s business resources can be found at www.oregon.gov/smallbusiness or you can email questions to business.sos@oregon.gov.


Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance

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