Session Begins, Wildfire Public Meetings, Scam Alert & More


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-413, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
e-Bulletin                     February 2021

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Dear friends,

On Tuesday, January 19, Oregon's Legislative Assembly officially began its 2021 Regular Session. Committees have been meeting virtually for the last three weeks, and both the Senate and House have been holding weekly, in-person floor sessions to advance the legislative calendar. This ensures that bills are first-read in order to be referred to committees. Strict social distancing protocols are being followed.

    Since the Capitol building remains closed to the public due to COVID-19, new mechanisms have been created for virtual public participation in Oregon's legislative process. As much as we all would like to have our Capitol open to all during this session, we can't! The state is not able to provide for a safe workspace for employees, lobbyists or the public at the Capitol during this phase of the pandemic. I believe the new mechanisms provide opportunity for expanded access to the legislative process since the public can participate remotely from their homes, offices, or elsewhere via the Internet. Please see the section below, "How to Participate in the 2021 Legislative Session," for details.

       Although my morning committee schedule prevents me from joining Cameron Reiten on KNND's Beeper Show during session, I have been joining Kyle Bailey on KQEN's "Inside Douglas County" to share news from Salem and on Oregon's COVID-19 response. You can listen to my latest interview with Kyle Bailey here and tune in when I join him again this Friday, February 12, at 12:30 p.m.

    Finally, please remember that all of us still need to do our part to keep COVID-19 and its variants from spreading though our communities. Safeguards include wearing a mask, maintaining safe social distancing, and frequently 
washing hands with soap and water. Thanks for doing your part!

    Below you will find information on:

        - Latest Oregon COVID-19 Data
        - Newly Launched Online Tool & Vaccine FAQs
        - Wildfire Recovery Public Hearings: February 15 and 17
        - How to Participate in the 2021 Legislative Session
        - Live Virtual Capitol School Tour and Other Resources
        - Restoration of LTD Service to the McKenzie River Area
        - Scam Alert: Economic Impact Payment Debit Cards
        - Waldo Lake Declared as "Outstanding Resource Waters"

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                               Sen. Prozanski signature

Latest Oregon COVID-19 Data

    As of February 8, 2021, a total of 425,076 Oregonians have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For more details, including demographics of those receiving the vaccine, visit the Oregon Health Authority's Vaccinations Dashboard
. In total, 146,137 Oregonians have tested positive for COVID-19 as of February 8, and more than 2,002 have died from the virus. Please stay vigilant and follow pandemic protocols so we can all be safer: stay home as much as possible, wear a mask in public, maintain six feet of distance from other people, and wash your hands frequently.

Newly Launched Online Tool & Vaccine FAQs

    On Monday, February 8, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) launched a new online tool for Oregonians to check their eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination and to schedule appointments: While a bit clunky in its initial form, the new online tool is intended as a "one-stop shop" for vaccine resources going forward. Anyone who isn't computer-proficient or doesn't have a computer can call 2-1-1 to access the same resources.

    The following is an updated list of Frequently Asked Questions from OHA:

Where can I get vaccinated?

    Vaccines are scarce but there will eventually be enough for everyone who wants one. Right now, places that are giving vaccines — when they have them — include local public health authorities or their partners, hospitals, and vaccination events. As the vaccine supply increases, you may be able to get vaccinated at other places. For now, due to the limited supply, your primary care provider (your doctor’s office) likely won’t get vaccines. You may also hear about vaccination events on the news. These events will have a way for you to make an appointment to get your shot.

How do I find out if I am eligible to get vaccinated?

    Go to and use the "Get Vaccinated Oregon" tool. It is designed to help you understand if you are eligible. You will want to register to get updates on vaccination opportunities. If you need help getting registered, ask someone to help or reach out to 211:

    - Text ORCOVID to 898211
    - E-mail
    - Call 211

When can I get vaccinated?

    Most older adults will not be able to get appointments for a vaccine for the next few weeks. You’ve waited a long time. It’s hard to wait but we ask that you please have patience. We are dependent on the federal vaccine supply. Some counties are still vaccinating other eligible adults and the federal vaccine supply is scarce.

Where can I go for more information?

    Go to, text ORCOVID to 89821 to get text/SMS updates (English and Spanish only), or e-mail If you can't get your COVID-19 vaccine question answered on the website, by text, or by email, call the call center at 211 or 1-866-698-6155. It is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including holidays. Wait times may be long due to high call volumes. There is an option to get a call back rather than wait on hold. English and Spanish are spoken at the call center. Free interpretation is available for all other languages. TTY: Dial 711 or call 1-866-698-6155.

What ID do I need to bring with me to prove my eligibility?

    OHA does not require proof that someone vaccinated is eligible, and doesn't plan to request verification from vaccinating providers. Vaccine providers themselves may require an individual to declare, through a verbal declaration or in some other way, they are in an eligible group before they receive a vaccine. People will receive proof they’ve been vaccinated. Do not lose the card you are given.

How much will it cost? Do I need to have insurance to get a vaccine?

    COVID vaccines will be free for you. You do not need health insurance. If you have health insurance, vaccine providers may charge your insurance company an administration fee for giving you the vaccine. This means that you might be asked for your insurance information when you get the COVID vaccine. Vaccine providers cannot charge you for giving you a vaccine, but it is important that you bring your insurance information if you have health insurance.

I need help getting to a vaccine clinic. Can I be provided transportation to get vaccinated? How do I arrange for that?

    If you are an Oregon Health Plan member and need a ride to get a vaccine, rides are free. Find the OHP ride services in your area. You can also call your CCO plan.

Will I have to wait in line?

    Many vaccination sites and events will ask you to pre-register so that they can safely manage the flow of patients. Large vaccine sites are also working to make sure their sites are accessible for older adults, particularly those who have mobility issues. But you also may have to wait. We encourage you to plan ahead.

I have a caregiver who helps me with my health care needs and doctor appointments. Can they also get vaccinated if they come with me?

    Only if your caregiver is also eligible. If your caregiver is part of a phase that is eligible, then they can get vaccinated anytime. If not, they are not eligible to get a vaccine yet.

What happens after I get a vaccine?

    You will still need to wear a mask and socially distance after getting the vaccine for now. Things can’t go back to normal until enough people are vaccinated. We don't know yet if a person who got both shots can still spread COVID-19. We don't want you to spread it to people who haven’t yet been vaccinated. It is important to keep wearing a mask, stay 6 feet from others, wash your hands, and not spend time with people you don’t live with.

    You will also need to get two doses of the vaccine. For most kinds of the vaccine, you will need to get two shots. You get the second shot 3 or 4 weeks after you get the first one. It is important for you to get both shots for the vaccine to work. Talk to who gave you the first shot about when you can get your second shot. You should get your second dose at the same place you got your first one. Do this unless the nurse or doctor tells you to get your second dose somewhere else. You need to make sure your second dose is the same brand as your first vaccine dose.

What if I get exposed to COVID-19 after my first dose?

    If you are exposed to COVID, you should follow the public health guidelines and stay home for 14 days even if you’ve gotten your first shot.

How long will I need to be observed after I am vaccinated?

    You will be observed for 15-30 minutes. This means you need to wait where you got your shot so the vaccine provider can watch you to make sure you're feeling okay.

What are the vaccine side effects?

    After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you will probably have a sore arm. You might have muscle aches, joint pain, tiredness, headache, chills, or maybe a fever. (Fever is less common.) This often means the vaccine is working to keep your body healthy. These are normal signs that your body is building protection. Sometimes these side effects may stop you from doing your normal activities for a couple of days. Most of these side effects should go away in a few days.

Who should I call if I have side effects: the vaccination site or my primary care provider?

    Side effects are common after COVID-19 vaccination. If you have concerns about any side effects after you leave the vaccination site, you should contact your primary care provider. Or you can go to an urgent care or emergency facility.

Will I need to keep wearing a mask and being physically distant?

    You will still need to wear a mask and socially distance after getting the vaccine for now. Things can't go back to normal until enough people are vaccinated. However, we don't know yet if a person who got both shots can still spread COVID-19. We don’t want you to spread it to people who haven’t yet been vaccinated. It is important to keep wearing a mask, stay 6 feet from others, wash your hands, and not spend time with people you don't live with.

Wildfire Recovery Public Hearings: February 15 and 17

    The Legislature's House Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery will be holding two evening public hearings to hear from Oregonians about post-fire experiences and needs related to shelter, cleanup, and rebuilding. Personal accounts will help the committee identify where to focus its efforts this session. All members of the public are invited and welcome to join the meetings to share your story.

   While these initial hearings are being held by the House Committee on Wildfire Recovery, I serve as a member on the Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Wildfire Recovery. I will be joining the House Committee meeting on February 15, since that meeting will include the Holiday Farm and Archie Creek fires in Senate District 4.  Testimony will be organized by regions of our state affected by the 2020 Labor Day wildfires:

    Monday, February 15
    5:30-8:30 p.m.
    Canyon/valley, metro and coast fires

    Wednesday, February 17th
    5:30-8:30 p.m.
    Southern Oregon

    Information on how to testify virtually or how to submit written testimony is available in the following section of this e-bulletin. The House Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery meetings will be available to view live online, or via recording after the meeting ends. To watch the meeting live, look up the Oregon State Legislature home page, and look for the meeting under "Today's Events at the Capitol." To watch a recording on your own time, see the Legislative Video web page. From there, you can search for a past recording by keyword under the "Recent Archives" section.

How to Participate in the 2021 Legislative Session

    Given current need to hold committee meetings remotely due to COVID-19, I believe it is vital that the there be enhanced opportunities for public participation in Oregon's legislative process. This session, that includes submitting written testimony and/or testifying before committees virtually, in addition to the usual option of engaging with legislators directly to voice support or opposition for bills (e-mail, phone and mail). New electronic tools actually mean expanded access to the legislation process for citizens unable to make the trip to Salem.

    Legislative staff have assembled a comprehensive web page about citizen engagement in Oregon's legislative process. It includes everything from how to provide testimony to a committee to who to contact with questions. Please check it out and share any feedback you may have!

Live Virtual Capitol School Tour and Other Resources

It's that time of year again when the Capitol building would usually begin welcoming thousands of Oregon schoolchildren on guided, interpretive tours of your state capitol building. I've always enjoyed welcoming groups who visit from Senate District. Unfortunately, COVID-19 means in-person tours aren't possible right now, but the Capitol Visitor Services team has developed virtual alternatives.

    First, Visitor Services has launched a Live Virtual School Tour pilot program. They are accepting reservations from schools across the state. Schools participating in the pilot program will be asked to provide feedback on their virtual tour experiences. If you have schools in your district that is interested in participating, please contact Visitor Services at 503-986-1388 or

    Second, Visitor Services is offering a 360-degree Virtual School Tour of the Capitol building. This new Virtual School Tour tells a chronological story, beginning in the Capitol Rotunda, ending with the Oregon Pioneer Statue, and focusing on the parts of the building that provide an introduction to the Legislative process. This tour uses vocabulary more suitable for students, and its messaging works in tandem with online lesson plans, which were developed to support state Department of Education standards for fourth-graders.

    Finally, a public 360-degree Virtual Capitol Tour is also available in new languages. Visitors cam select the tour in English, Spanish and Mandarin at OregonCapitol.comThe Oregon State Capitol Foundation provided funding for the development of the 360-degree Virtual Capitol Tour.

Restoration of LTD Service to the McKenzie River Area

    For anyone who hasn't heard, I'm happy to share news that Lane Transit District has restored service (route #91) to the McKenzie River area. That service had been unavailable due to infrastructure issues as a result of the Holiday Farm Fire. KLCC recently ran a story on the service restoration.

    Due to safety issues associated with COVID-19, LTD was fare-free until February 1, 2021. However, the McKenzie River route will remain fare free until March 1, 2021.

Scam Alert: Economic Impact Payment Debit Cards

Attorney General wants Oregonians to know that if they've received a white envelope in the mail with a U.S. Treasury Department seal in the upper left window and the words, "Not a bill or an advertisement ... Important information about your Economic Impact Payment," in red on the front, don't toss it! Inside is a legitimate prepaid debit card loaded with an economic impact payments (EIP). The card needs to be activated before it is ready to use as a debit card.

    The Attorney General also wants Oregonians to know that, although these cards are legitimate, you could become the target of other types of scams related to the stimulus money. EIPs were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that Congress passed. Since the U.S. Treasury has been issuing payments by direct deposit into recipients' bank account, by check, and even these debit card, there has been confusion. If someone calls offering to help make sense of it, that can seem like a lifeline to older Oregonians in particular. But that "help" may not be from official sources.

    There has been a wave of "new and evolving phishing schemes," relating to EIPs according to the IRS release. Here are examples of what scammers might try to do:

  • Ask you to sign over your EIP to them.
  • Tell you that they need personal or banking information in order for you to receive your EIP.
  • Offer to expedite your EIP by working on your behalf.
  • Mail a bogus check to you, opening the door for you to “correct” your personal information online.

    If this happens to you, do not engage with a person who seems even slightly suspicious. Instead, file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice online at or call the Consumer Hotline at 1-877-9392 and ask that a complaint form be mailed to you.

Waldo Lake Declared as "Outstanding Resource Waters"

    In another piece of positive news reported by KLCC, the state Environmental Quality Commission voted to designate Waldo Lake, located in Senate District 4, along with Crater Lake, as "Outstanding Resource Waters." The recognition provides state protections by preventing activities that could potentially harm water quality at either lake. The full story is available here.

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