COVID-19 Updates 1/5/2021

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Oregon Health Authority Updates

OHA’s COVID-19 weekly data report, from Dec. 30, showed declines in weekly cases, hospitalizations and deaths. OHA reported 6,790 new daily cases during the week of Monday, Dec. 21 through Sunday, Dec. 27, a 22% decrease from the previous week. That marked the third consecutive week of declining cases. There were 337 persons hospitalized for COVID-19, a 23% decline from the previous week.

Additionally, there were 86 reported COVID-19 reported deaths, down 100 from last week and representing the lowest total in four weeks. There were 134,498 tests for COVID-19 for the week of Dec. 20 through Dec. 26. The percentage of positive tests increased to 6.3%.

People age 20 to 49 have accounted for 54% of COVID-19 cases, while people 70 and older have accounted for 77% of deaths associated with the virus. The weekly report features a new format and includes additional information on new cases and data spanning the entire pandemic.

Live Q&A on COVID-19 Data

From the Oregon Health Authority

Many of you have been following Oregon’s COVID-19 data closely and have asked us some great questions about it.

Wednesday, January 6 you can have your questions answered by our data experts directly. Join us at 12:30 p.m. here on our Facebook page for a live Q&A on COVID-19 data.

Unemployment Insurance Updates

Federal Relief Legislation

Thank you to the Oregon Employment Department for sharing the following information on what to expect from the newly signed federal relief package.

  • The Dept. of Labor has confirmed that claimants will NOT lose a week of PUA, PEUC, or FPUC benefits as a result of the delayed signing of the new act. Once we are able to begin issuing payments, we will pay those benefits retroactively for eligible claimants who file—and they will receive up to the full eleven weeks of benefits that the legislation allows.
  • While we have not yet heard how the delayed signing may impact other parts of the bill, we do know that Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) will return for the time period between Dec. 27, 2020 and the week ending March 13, 2021, this time at $300 per week instead of the previous $600 per week.
  • We also know that there are several changes made to both PUA and PEUC, including limitations on backdating and additional requirements to deter fraud. We are awaiting further federal guidance on these programs.
  • Lastly, we know that federal funding for WorkShare benefits has been extended through March 13, 2021. This means that for employers that already use WorkShare, or those employers that will start to, those benefits will not impact their future UI tax rates.

Oregonians have many questions and want to know what the new relief package means for them:

  • Claimants do not need to call with questions about the federal benefit programs at this time, and should avoid doing so, as some Oregonians do still need to get in touch with us by phone in order to receive their benefits.
  • We will share information and updates about the federal package, including any instructions for claimants, as soon as new information emerges. We’ll share information over social media and through email updates to our subscribers, updating the FAQs and “chatbot” on our website, and will continue sharing information with the press.

In the meantime, we are encouraging claimants to continue filing their weekly claims, regardless of which program they are on. That is the most beneficial thing people can do right now: keep filling your weekly claims as you have been.

Upcoming Webinar

At our next webinar on Thursday Jan. 7 at 1:00pm, we'll share updates on the federal relief legislation. Register here.

Simultaneous interpretation will be available in Simplified Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, and Spanish. If you can’t attend the webinar, a recording will be available online soon after.

Small Business Updates

What to Do After a COVID-19 Exposure

Throughout the district I hear the tremendous stories of businesses who are finding ways to safely remain open during the Covid-19 crisis. In the unfortunate event that an outbreak occurs, they all want to do what’s best to keep our community safe. Washington County has a great web page dedicated to guidance for the workplace.

If an employer learns from an employee they have tested positive for COVID-19, the employer does not need to contact Washington County Public Health (WCPH). Public Health calls all individuals who have tested positive to conduct a contract tracing interview to identify all locations the individual went while infectious. If the employee was at work during that infectious period, Public Health will contact the employer to obtain contact information for the employee’s supervisor and close workplace contacts.

Page 5 of the Workplace Prevention & Response Toolkit provides a great checklist of items to consider as you keep the workplace safe.  Prevention is as important as response and following these guidelines will help create a safer environment for your employees and customers. 

COVID-19 Workplace Assessment Tool

Insurance Updates

Oregon Extends Telehealth Agreement for Health Insurance Plans

From the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services

The State of Oregon has reached an agreement with several health insurance companies to continue providing expanded telehealth options through at least June 30, 2021.

The agreement follows guidance issued by the Department of Consumer and Business Services and the Oregon Health Authority in late March requiring health insurance plans to provide in-network coverage for multiple telehealth platforms.

In June 2020, the state reached agreement with health insurance companies to continue providing expanded telehealth options, including payment to providers at the same rate as an in-person visit, through Dec. 31. This new agreement means health insurance companies will continue to provide coverage for expanded telehealth services and pay for these services at the rates they established during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is vital for Oregonians to continue to use telehealth services to limit physical contact during this public health emergency,” said Oregon Insurance Commissioner and Department of Consumer and Business Services Director Andrew Stolfi. “Telehealth allows for Oregonians to get important care, often from the comfort of their home. I want to thank the insurance carriers that have joined us in this agreement to provide expanded telehealth services and pay parity for Oregonians.”

The following insurance companies have agreed to provide expanded telehealth services through June 30, 2021:

  • Cambia
  • Providence
  • Health Net
  • Regence
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Samaritan
  • Moda
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • PacificSource

In addition to these companies, the Oregon Health Plan will continue to offer pay parity and other allowances for many telehealth services, offering the same rate as an in-person visit for physical health services, behavioral health services, and some dental and long-term care services.

It is important to note that this agreement does not apply to self-insured plans. The state encourages self-insured plans to cover expanded telehealth services for members. These are plans in which an employer assumes the financial risk of providing health care benefits to its employees. Oregonians who have a self-insured plan should check with their employer about their coverage options.

Oregonians are encouraged to contact their insurance company or health care provider if they have questions about using telehealth services.

Visit the division’s COVID-19 telehealth page for frequently asked questions and more information. For information on insurance and financial topics, visit the Division of Financial Regulation’s COVID-19 consumer site.

Housing Updates

Are you a renter looking for more information about the new statewide eviction moratorium? The Oregon Law Center has great resources, including a template for declaration of financial hardship. Visit their website here, or see below, for more information and resources.

Education Updates

PhRMA has recently developed a new STEM distance learning video on “Understanding Germs: Bacteria & Viruses.”  The video talks about the difference between bacteria and viruses as it relates to COVID-19 and highlights the use of vaccines to combat viruses.  It also includes a lesson plan for instructors and worksheet for students, at no cost, which is geared toward middle school students ages 10-14 years.

Community Outreach

Free COVID-19 Testing Event this Saturday

From Project Access NOW

Pre-Registration is required. Go here to pre-register: 

COVID-19 Testing Flier

Community Walks

From AgeCelebration

Starting this week, AgeCelebration is hosting two COMMUNITY WALKS each week for everyone in the community, all ages, all levels, all abilities, families welcome, as well as well-behaved dogs! 2-mile walks with optional early return points. Masks on, socially-distanced, all covid-19 safety protocol will be in effect to keep ourselves and each other safe healthy and strong. Covid safety is our top priority. If you are sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick, please stay home. Thank you for your cooperation.

Community Walk schedule and locations:

  • every Wednesday morning 9am departing from New Seasons Orenco, 1453 NE 61st Ave.
  • every Saturday morning 10am **different location each week **this Sat Jan 9th 10am departing from Hidden Creek Community Center, 5100 NE Hidden Creek Dr (new community center across from 53rd Ave Park)(meet in parking lot)

Let's keep each other safe and healthy from covid-19 AND create community and connection from 6' away, outdoors, with our masks on.

Community Walks

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