3/3/2021 House District 30 Newsletter

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

Governor Kate Brown Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Schedule

Next group to begin on March 29, after most eligible seniors have received vaccines. FEMA to support Oregon vaccination efforts with resources and staff.

Last Friday, Governor Kate Brown announced the prioritization for the next groups of Oregonians to be included in Oregon’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution schedule, including Oregonians with underlying health conditions and frontline workers. Additionally, the Governor announced that Oregon will be receiving vaccination support through new federal staff and resources from FEMA.

"By summer, provided supplies from the federal government continue as planned, any Oregonian who wants the vaccine will be eligible to receive it," said Governor Brown. "And while that gives us all a reason to breathe a sigh of relief, it should also serve as a reminder that the finish line is in sight, and we cannot let up.

"New variants of this virus still threaten our communities. While infection rates continue to plummet here in Oregon and across the country, we’re not out of the woods just yet. We must continue to make smart choices around the safety measures we know work: keep wearing your masks, physical distancing and limiting social gatherings."

Phase 1b, Phase 2 Vaccine Prioritization

Oregon’s Phase 1b prioritization schedule was based on the recommendations of the members of the Vaccine Advisory Committee, with the goal of ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines to those communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, and Latinx, Pacific Islander, and Tribal communities. The VAC recommended prioritizing Oregonians with underlying conditions and frontline workers for vaccination.

Until March 29, Oregon will continue to vaccinate individuals only Oregon seniors, educators, adults in custody as required by a recent Oregon court decision, and any individuals eligible in Phase 1a still remaining.

The vaccination of Oregonians for the continuation of Phase 1b will proceed in two waves .

Beginning March 29, the following groups of Oregonians will be eligible for vaccination:

  • Adults age 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions as defined by the CDC
  • Seasonally-impacted frontline workers, such as migrant seasonal farm workers, seafood and agricultural workers, and food processing workers
  • Currently displaced victims of the September 2020 wildfires
  • Wildland firefighters
  • People living in low-income and congregate senior housing
  • Individuals experiencing houselessness

No later than May 1, the following groups of Oregonians will be eligible:

  • All other frontline workers as defined by the CDC
  • Individuals age 16-45 with underlying health conditions
  • Multigenerational household members

No later than June 1, Phase 2 of vaccination will begin with all adults aged 45 to 64. And, no later than July 1, all Oregonians 16 and over will be eligible to receive a vaccine.

New FEMA Vaccination Support Begins Next Week

Governor Brown also announced today that Oregon has secured access to $220 million to reimburse hospitals, clinics, local public health partners, and other organizations for the costs of their vaccination efforts, from January 21 to April 21. In addition, FEMA staff will be supporting the Oregon Convention Center, Portland International Airport, and Hillsboro Stadium, starting with 20 staff next week. They will also be working with sites at the Deschutes and Salem fairgrounds. FEMA will be working with Oregon to develop long-term, sustainable solutions to support and relieve hospital staff and frontline health care workers.

Continued Governor Brown: "We are grateful for this assistance, and look forward to the next steps in our vaccine response. Each week, more supply comes online. More Oregonians get vaccinated. We make more progress with each and every day."

  • Materials from the Oregon Health Authority with more details, including the definitions of underlying health conditions and frontline workers, is available here.
  • A copy of the Governor's prepared remarks from Friday's press conference is available here.
  • A recording of Friday's live-streamed press conference is available here.
  • More information on vaccines is available at covidvaccine.oregon.gov.
Vaccine Graphic

Changes to Scheduling Vaccine Appointments via the Vaccine Information Tool (Chatbot) Now in Effect

From the Oregon Health Authority

To help alleviate the challenges people have faced attempting to schedule a vaccine appointment at the Oregon Convention Center, the Oregon Health Authority and the All4Oregon health system partners will change the process for appointments via the Vaccine Information Tool (chatbot), starting Monday, March 1, 2021.  

As of Monday, adults who are 65 and older will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. But adults who are 65 and older, and most people who are eligible for vaccines in Phase 1A in the Portland metro area, will no longer be directed to the chatbot to schedule appointments at the Oregon Convention Center.

The change does not apply to people with mobility issues, who will continue to be able to access appointments at the Portland Airport Red Economy Parking Lot drive-thru clinic through the chatbot. Educators in the Portland metro area and people who live in Marion County also can continue to find appointments through the Vaccine Information Tool.

The change does not impact people who have already scheduled vaccine appointments at the Oregon Convention Center, the Portland Airport or the Legacy Woodburn Health Center.

All Oregonians, including senior adults age 65 and over, can sign up to be notified about vaccination events when they are eligible at the Get Vaccinated Oregon signup tool. The Get Vaccinated Oregon (GVO) signup tool can be found at covidvaccine.oregon.gov.

The new appointment scheduling process for eligible older adults who live in Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah or Washington counties, will be based on names being pulled from the Get Vaccinated Oregon tool. On a weekly basis, OHA will use that GVO tool to electronically scramble the names of all eligible older adults in the metro area. OHA will then send a list of names to All4Oregon that matches the number of vaccination appointments available for scheduling. All4Oregon will contact individuals to schedule their appointment.

Due to limited supply, not everyone who is eligible will be included on the weekly list. All eligible groups who want a vaccine will get a vaccine over the coming months.

All4Oregon is the joint effort of Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, OHSU and Providence to collaborate in operating the mass vaccination clinic at the Oregon Convention Center.

As more vaccines become available, vaccine distribution sites will expand to more locations, such as retail pharmacies, outpatient clinics and other sites linked to hospitals and health systems. The additional vaccine and additional sites will help address the challenges people are experiencing as high demand exceeds the limited supply.

Older adults and anyone who needs help better understanding the scheduling options are encouraged to call 211.

Sign up to receive future communications from the Oregon Health Authority here.

Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

For additional COVID-19 Vaccine resources, these retail pharmacies are also participating in vaccine distribution:

Oregon Health Authority Updates

An Open Letter to Oregon — OHA Director Patrick Allen thanks Oregonians:

From the Oregon Health Authority

As of yesterday (from 3/1/21), it’s been one year since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Oregon. Twelve grim months later, nothing is the same. The pandemic has claimed more than half a million lives in the United States. More than 2,200 Oregonians have died with the coronavirus. All of us have felt their loss. All of us have seen our lives altered: a beloved grandparent’s lonely wave through the glass of a nursing home window. The empty storefront of a bedrock local business. Birthdays, graduations and anniversaries awkwardly celebrated on a screen instead of in-person. Frustration as parents struggle to help kids in school while trying to meet work demands.

But there’s another number Oregonians should bear in mind, especially as we confront the coming months of the pandemic: 4,000. That’s approximately the number of lives you’ve saved by wearing a mask, limiting in-person gatherings and maintaining social distance.
Oregon was one of the first states in the nation to report a case of COVID-19, but a year later our state has the fourth lowest coronavirus case rate in the nation, the fourth lowest death rate and the fourth lowest COVID-19 death rate among seniors. If Oregon’s death rate matched the nation’s, three times as many Oregonians would have lost their lives.
You made the difference. Month after month, deep into the pandemic, about 8 in 10 Oregonians continue to observe lifesaving pandemic precautions. While we know who’s died from COVID-19 – in ages ranging from under 1 to more than 100 years old – we’ll never know for sure whom you’ve saved. Maybe it’s an esteemed elder who’s alive to lead a virtual devotional group for his faith community. A middle-age mother who’s here to help her daughter apply for college. A thirtysomething who agrees to be best man at his friend’s wedding, once the pandemic is over. Maybe it’s someone reading this message. Maybe it’s you.

State and local public health actions saved lives too. Governor Kate Brown issued early stay at home orders. Our state was the first in the nation to protect the most vulnerable nursing home residents by limiting visitation. Oregon put limits on bars, restaurants, gyms and other types of businesses that could fuel the virus’ spread. Those limits figured as vital factors in Oregon’s life-saving calculus – but they came with undeniable costs to workers and business owners. Still, and unlike other states, Oregon kept manufacturing and construction going, blunting the worst-case economic fallout on working families.

Here’s another number: 986,816. That’s the number of COVID-19 vaccine first and second doses Oregon nurses and other vaccinators have administered so far, as of today. It’s true Oregon’s vaccine rollout has been as bumpy as it has been elsewhere. Yet Oregon has fully vaccinated about 1 in 12 adults, putting us ahead of most other states (Oregon ranks 16th in the percent of people fully vaccinated).

But the pandemic isn’t over. More contagious and more dangerous variants of the virus are taking hold. We are in a race to vaccinate as many people as possible, as soon as we can.
It’s been a hard year. On top of the pandemic, we’ve endured historic wildfires that also claimed lives, displaced thousands and obliterated the homes and businesses that comprised entire communities. We’ve awakened to an overdue reckoning with racial injustice – including unacceptable health inequities. Winter storms compounded our discomfort and disruption.

We’re tired. But we can’t give up.

With gratitude, and respect for all the lifesaving sacrifices you’ve made so far, I ask Oregonians to:

  • Keep wearing masks, limiting your social get-togethers and maintaining your physical distance. Until we know more, we need to keep our guard up.
  • Choose to get vaccinated when you are eligible, as soon as an appointment is available to you.

On Friday, Governor Brown told Oregonians we are speeding up our timelines to vaccinate Oregonians. Over the next month we expect to vaccinate more than 3 in 4 seniors. People with underlying health conditions will be eligible on March 29. Frontline workers will be eligible no later than May 1. And we’ll open vaccinations to the first healthy members of the general public no later than June 1.

I know many people have questions about COVID-19 vaccines. I know the experience of racism and memories of historical trauma and medical experimentation are alive in many communities. Other people are wary of government.

Yet once again, we depend on each other to save lives. The COVID-19 vaccine is the safest and most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones and return to more of our normal life. We need enough Oregonians to get immunized, so all of us are protected.
Thank you for the lives you’ve saved so far and the lives we can all save in the months to come.

COVID-19 Graphic

COVID-19 and Grief: Live Q & A

From the Oregon Health Authority

We want to acknowledge the immense loss and grief that COVID-19 has brought to Oregonians.

Join us today, March 3 at 12:30 p.m. for a live Q & A when our experts will answer your questions about coping with grief.

Small Business Updates

Commercial Rent Relief Program

From Business Oregon

The Oregon Legislative Emergency Board on January 8, 2021, allocated $100 million to fund a new Commercial Rent Relief Program to provide financial assistance to small businesses and landlords adversely affected by economic conditions as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program will open for applications on March 8, 2021

The program targets landlords with tenant businesses with 100 or fewer employees who are behind on lease payments or any forgiven base rent amounts that have been negotiated due to COVID-19. The program will require both business tenant and property owner participation. The program includes additional protections for tenants, such as non-eviction clauses, and a waiver of penalties and interest.

Visit here for more information.

Legislative Updates

House District 30 - 2021 Legislative Session Concepts

In order to provide information and updates on the policies that I am working on for the 2021 Session, this is a continuation of that series.

Tomorrow, Thursday March 4, 2021, I will be discussing one of my bills this session at a public hearing in the Joint Committee on Transportation during the 8am hour. HB 2498 will allow members of our deaf and hard of hearing community (DHH) to choose to indicate on their vehicle’s registration, driver’s license and state issued ID card their inclusion in that community. During something like a routine traffic stop, it will be clear to an officer in their Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) that the driver may require additional communication assistance. I’ve created a YouTube video to explain the bill. If you’d like to submit written or verbal testimony in person, you can follow these links:

HB 2498 Video Graphic

Redistricting Committee-"Virtual Road Meetings"

There will be two upcoming meetings held (virtually) on Congressional District 1, (of which House District 30 is a part of) that you can participate in.

The meeting dates are as follows (with links to the agendas below):

These hearings are required to be scheduled prior to the preparation of draft legislative and congressional redistricting maps. There are also plans for additional “virtual roadshow” meetings after proposed maps have been completed.

Visit the Oregon State Legislature’s redistricting webpage, or click the graphic below, for more information.

Redistricting Graphic

Insurance Updates

Medicare Open Enrollment Ends March 31st

Medicare Graphic

From OregonHealthcare.gov

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period continues until March 31. If you take advantage of this open enrollment period, you will have coverage that starts the first day of the month after you enroll. You must have an existing Medicare Advantage plan on Jan. 1 to use this enrollment period.

During this time, if you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can:

  • Change to a different Medicare Advantage plan, either with or without drug coverage
  • Enroll in a stand-alone Part D (prescription drug) plan, which returns the beneficiary to Original Medicare

NOTE: Signing up for Part D prescription drug coverage is not guaranteed unless you were already in a Medicare Advantage plan on Jan. 1. You can make only one change during this enrollment period and can not change from one stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan to another stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan.

If you need to switch Medicare Advantage plans you can get help by calling 800-722-4134 (toll-free) or find local help using the locator tool at dcbspage.org/SHIBALOCAL. SHIBA counselors provide objective options counseling using the Medicare plan finder tool at Medicare.gov/plan-compare. The 2021 Oregon Guide to Medicare Insurance Plans can be found at https://healthcare.oregon.gov/shiba/Documents/2021_Medicare_Guide.pdf. To order a print version, contact SHIBA by phone at 800-722-4134 (toll-free) or email at shiba.oregon@oregon.gov.

El periodo de inscripción abierta de Medicare Advantage continúa hasta el 31 de marzo. Si aprovecha este periodo de inscripción abierta, tendrá una cobertura que comenzará el primer día del mes siguiente a su inscripción. Necesita tener un plan Medicare Advantage existente el 1 de enero para poder utilizar este periodo de inscripción.

Durante de este periodo, si usted ya tiene un plan de Medicare Advantage, puede:

  • Cambiar a un plan de Medicare Advantage diferente, con o sin cobertura de drogas
  • Inscribirse en un plan independiente de Parte D (de medicamentos recetados), que devuelve el beneficiario a Medicare Original

NOTA: Inscribirse en un plan de Parte D para los medicamentos recetados no está garantizado a menos que ya esté inscrito en un plan Medicare Advantage el 1 de enero. Sólo puede hacer un cambio durante este periodo de inscripción y no puede cambiar de un plan independiente de medicamentos recetados de la Parte D a otro plan independiente de medicamentos recetados de la Parte D.

Si necesita cambiar su plan de Medicare Advantage, puede obtener ayuda llamando al 800-722-4134 (sin cargo) o encontrar ayuda local usando nuestra herramienta de localización en dcbspage.org/SHIBALOCAL. Consejeros de SHIBA proveen asesoramiento imparcial sobre las opciones usando la herramienta de encontrar planes en Medicare.gov/plan-compare/#/?lang=es. La Guía sobre los Planes de Seguros de Medicare en Oregon para 2021 (solo disponible en inglés) se puede acceder en https://healthcare.oregon.gov/shiba/Documents/2021_Medicare_Guide.pdf. Para ordenar una versión impresa, póngase en contacto con SHIBA por teléfono al 800-722-4134 (sin cargo) o por correo electrónico en shiba.oregon@oregon.gov.

Community Outreach

Calling All House District 30 Rescue Pets

According to this article from FOX12 Oregon, the Oregon Humane Society adopted out over 7,203 pets in 2020; over 5,000 after adjusting adoption protocols or COVID-19.

Were you one of the lucky ones to adopt a new pet? Send us pictures of your rescue pets for a future pet slideshow. We want to show them off! I am a Chief Co-Sponsor of HCR 9, a bill that would designate rescue shelter dogs and cats as official state pets.

Rescue Pets

My rescue pets-Annie and Kado

According to the CDC and Newport Academy, there are many health benefits to having a pet. These include:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased cholesterol levels
  • Decreased triglyceride levels
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness
  • Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
  • Increased opportunities for socialization

Studies around pets and mental health show that petting and playing with animals reduces stress-related hormones; these benefits can occur after just five minutes of interacting with a pet. Playing with dog or cat raises levels of serotonin and dopamine; hormones that calm and relax the nervous system. Moreover, interacting with a friendly dog reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. It also increases the release of oxytocin, another chemical in the body that reduces stress naturally. Pets reduce depression and loneliness and the responsibility of owning pet can help maintain a daily routine.

House District 30 Virtual Office Hours

Office Hours Graphic

This Friday, March 5, from 11:00am-12:00pm, I will be holding HD 30 Virtual Office Hours. This is an opportunity for fellow House District 30 constituents to join me and the HD 30 team and stop by to ask a question or share a thought. Stay as long, or as little, as you like. We will hold office hours every Friday from 11:00-12:00 to meet with you virtually by Zoom. Use the link below to join.

Join Zoom Meeting

Great Shake Alert

Great Shake Alert

From the Oregon Office of Emergency Management

Wildfires, floods, volcanoes and earthquakes: Oregon has its share of natural hazards. Each of these hazards presents unique challenges, but one of the biggest challenges for earthquake preparedness is unpredictability. Earthquakes strike without warning, causing widespread damage in a matter of seconds.

Fortunately, there is a preparedness tool, ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning, coming to Oregon on March 11. ShakeAlert does not predict earthquakes. Rather, it uses a network of sensors to detect an earthquake that has just begun. Data from the sensors are used by ShakeAlert processing centers to calculate the estimated quake magnitude and intensity. Alert distribution providers (e.g. operators of purpose-built apps) create an alert which can be delivered to wireless devices – in a matter of seconds – potentially reaching device users before the shaking does. In the seconds between receiving an alert and feeling shaking, people can protect themselves by dropping, covering and holding on.

ShakeAlert is an easy-to-use tool. Beginning March 11, 2021, mobile devices in Oregon will be able to receive ShakeAlert-powered alerts via Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), just like a severe weather or AMBER alert. All WEA alerts, regardless of type, behave the same. The device makes a distinctive notification sound and the alert pops up in a text window on the screen. Some devices with text-to-voice capability may read out the message text.

In the case of an earthquake alert, the WEA text will read: “Earthquake Detected! Drop, Cover, Hold On. Protect Yourself. -USGS ShakeAlert.” This message is available in Spanish for phones set to receive alerts in that language.

ShakeAlert-powered alerts can also be delivered through purpose-built apps; newer Android phones have ShakeAlert capacity built into the operating system, offering a third alert delivery route.

Find more information here.

Additional Resources

 House District 30 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance

HSF Pics

HSF Executive Director, Aron Carleson. Hillsboro School District Superintendent Mike Scott and Auctioneer Graham Crow

Congratulations to the Hillsboro Schools Foundation! This year's Baubles, Bowties and Boxers Virtual Auction brought in $132,000 with matches and other donations still coming in!  This is such a win for Hillsboro Schools and with these funds the South Meadows Career Exploration Lab has been fully funded! I was so honored to participate again this year, as the emcee of the auction. I can't wait until next year when we can hopefully be together to celebrate in person again. Visit Hillsboro Schools Foundation and find out how you can help, anytime of the year.

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
Email: Rep.JaneenSollman@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/sollman