New Public Health Guidance, Vaccines for Seniors and Local Updates

Senator Wagner

Governor Brown Announces Improvement from Extreme Risk and Updates to Outdoor Sports Guidance

This week, Governor Brown announced that several counties across the state will be downgraded from Extreme to High Risk in the Oregon Risk and Protection Framework. Effective February 12, we will see 10 counties move out of Extreme Risk, including the Portland tri-county area, move out of the Extreme Risk category for the first time since November. For details on what this means for guidance in your county, visit Oregon’s Coronavirus website.

Additionally, the Governor has announced that outdoor contact school sports may resume, with protocols in place, in schools that have returned to classrooms for at least limited in-person instruction. With four teenage athletes at home, my family is also very excited for this cautious return to school sports. 

I am grateful to my fellow Oregonians for taking such good care of each other by closely adhering to public health guidelines throughout this pandemic. You are the reason Oregon has consistently had some of the lowest case rates and fatalities in the nation. As we transition to new High Risk guidance here in the Metro area, I urge you to continue practicing the critical public health habits that have kept us safe and well so far.

Vaccine Updates from the Oregon Health Authority


As of Monday, adults age 80 and older are now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination. As part of the effort to provide older adults information about COVID-19 vaccinations, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has launched “Get Vaccinated Oregon'' – an eligibility and notification tool developed by Google in partnership with the state of Oregon. Check out the tool here


Seniors can also use the information chatbot on the Oregon vaccination website – an orange box that appears whenever a user accesses that site. Older Oregonians can get updates about vaccination clinics by texting ORCOVID to 898211, email with questions, or call 2-1-1, which is open from 6 AM - 7 PM daily.

While vaccine supplies are expected to increase in coming weeks, supplies are currently scarce. Like many Oregonians, I am frustrated with the vaccine rollout and understand how difficult the process has been to comprehend. State health officials are asking for patience as more than 700,000 seniors age 65 and older become eligible for vaccines over the next four weeks.

Three things to know this week (February 8) about getting vaccinated

Vaccines at Safeway/Albertsons

Safeway and Albertsons have launched their COVID-19 vaccine scheduling platform, allowing eligible individuals (i.e., frontline health care workers, first responders, teachers and individuals ages 75 and older) to sign-up to receive the vaccine at their local, participating Safeway/Albertsons store. If an individual does not have access to internet, a computer or smart device, they can call their local pharmacy to help schedule. 

Safeway/Albertsons and other participating pharmacies have received a combined 12,000 doses this week, equating to roughly 100 doses available at each participating pharmacy. Supplies are still very limited, but as dose allocations increase, so will the opportunity to secure an appointment.

What’s Next

Oregon’s 27-member COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (VAC) has met for its fourth and final official meeting. They recommended four groups move forward concurrently once Oregon has vaccinated a critical mass of seniors (currently scheduled to be complete by mid-April with current supplies). Those groups would be:

  • Adults 16-64 with underlying health conditions
  • Front-line workers (to be defined)
  • Adults and youth in custody 16 years and older
  • People living in low income and congregate senior housing

People who live in multi-generational households would be next in line behind these groups, followed by the general population. As a next step, OHA staff will review the recommendations before they are referred to Governor Kate Brown.

Legislative Updates


Over the last week, several of my priority bills had public hearings in the Oregon Legislature. If you're interested in learning more, links to the bills and committee hearings are available below. I've included the time stamp for my testimony as well.

Senate Bill 572 - safeguards vulnerable youth with extended guardianships:

My testimony in the public hearing begins at 59:38 and emphasizes why Oregon should make fixes to our guardianship laws to allow vulnerable youth fleeing violence and abuse to have the protection of a trusted guardian while they're between the ages of 18-21. I'm thrilled to be working with such a great group of organizations to help pass this bill - you can read a summary of the legislation here.

House Bill 2395 - fixes Oregon's plastic bag ban to allow for innovative paper products:

My testimony in the public hearing begins at 1:14:40 and lays out why it's important that we support innovation in our renewable economy by allowing more types of fiber to be used in paper bag production in the state. I'm proud to support the Willamette Falls Paper Company's innovative efforts and keep jobs in our communities.

House Bill 2564 - establishes Willamette Falls Locks Authority as public corporation:

My testimony in the public hearing begins at 5:32 and discusses why the locks are crucial for the economic prosperity and resilience of the Willamette Valley region.

Our Community Celebrates Black History Month

Lake Oswego Public Library has put together packages of books written by Black authors or focused on dismantling systemic racism in honor of Black History Month. Bundles of three or four books in various genres are available based on age group.

The library cares about COVID-19 safety measures. You can pick up a bundle by scheduling an appointment ahead of time by calling 503-636-7628 or visiting the library's website. Lake Oswego Public Library also offers curated Pinterest boards, including ones on anti-racism and Black History Month.

Read more about the book bundle program and how it connects with this year’s Lake Oswego Reads program in this article.

Lake Oswego Public Library

West Linn Emergency Business Grant Program

The City of West Linn has created a third round Emergency Business Assistance Grant Program intended to provide financial assistance to small businesses (25 employees or fewer) adversely affected by economic conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The City is planning to provide approximately $160,000 to businesses and non-profits as quickly and easily as possible.

The submission deadline is February 17 at 5:00 PM. The City of West Linn encourages applications from businesses owned by historically disadvantaged groups, and will score all applications equitably and comply with local, state, and
federal law. Click here to find an overview of the grant, and here to open the grant application.

West Linn Emergency Business Assistance Grant

Willamette Falls Walkway Update

With the support of tribal owners and Oregon City officials, Metro will lead the first phase of design and construction of a walkway with views of Willamette Falls. This entails building a path through the parking lot facing McLoughlin Boulevard and a bridge along the waterfront to the edge of Mill O of the former Blue Heron Paper Company Mill. Construction will begin next year at the earliest, with completion scheduled in 2024.

Willamette Falls Walkway - Rendered by GBD Architects and Walker Macy

Willamette Falls Walkway - Rendered by GBD Architects and Walker Macy

Oregon State University Tax Filing Help Available


The OSU College of Business is offering free tax preparation services to low- and middle-income individuals and families through a partnership with the IRS. Read more here.

The service is available in February and March, and appointments are now being scheduled. To qualify for the service, individuals or families must make less than $72,000 annually and meet other eligibility guidelines.

For more about eligibility or to register for an appointment, visit this website or call 541-737-7962. Assistance is also available in Spanish.

Additional Resources

Mental Health and Domestic Violence Resources:

The state of the world can pose mental health challenges and make it harder to reach out to our support systems. If you're struggling to cope in these stressful times, consider reaching out to one of these resources:

  • To reach the Disaster Distress Helpline, call 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746. 
  • If you or a loved one is in crisis, dial Call 800-273-TALK (8255) or click this link.
  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.
    • You can also visit, but for your safety please be aware that computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear.
  • If you are LGBTQ+ identifying and are in crisis, please contact the Trevor Lifeline.

Food Insecurity:

Cold Weather Shelter

  • To find shelter in Clackamas County, visit the Warming Centers page.
  • For shelter and donations in Multnomah County, visit this link.
  • Washington County offers homeless resources–including information about winter shelters–here.

As always, please let me know if you need any assistance. My office and I will work to connect you with resources and get your questions answered as quickly as possible.



Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner
Senate District 19

email: I phone: 503-986-1719
address: 900 Court St NE, S-223, Salem, OR, 97301