Wildfire and Extreme Heat Resources / Town Hall Reminder

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I am very pleased to be hosting my first in-person Town Hall in over 18 months!  Please join Representative Sollman, Senator Riley, and me tomorrow night to discuss the 2021 Legislative Session and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money that has been allocated for Washington County.  There will be an opportunity to ask questions, whether you decide to attend virtually or in person.  See below for more details. 

We are facing many challenges as Summer gets into full swing.  Between the drought, excessive heat, an active and early fire season, and the spread of the Delta variant, we need to stay vigilant. Please remember to check on each other and support each other.  Whether it's wearing a mask in crowded places, checking on elderly neighbors with no air conditioning, reaching out to friends in evacuation zones and offering a place to stay, or avoiding fireworks and yard debris burning, we can all play our part to ensure that we have a safe and healthy summer here in Oregon. 


Rep. McLain

End of Session Town Hall - TOMORROW 7/15

Town Hall


What: Join Reps. Sollman and McLain and Senator Riley to talk about 2021 legislative accomplishments, ARPA funding for Washington County, and for a question-and-answer period.

When: July 15, 2021 at 6pm

Where: Hidden Creek Community Center / Virtual Option 

Registration: Register HERE

From Salem

Capitol Building

Oregon Capitol Building Reopens!

Article from the Forest Grove News-Times 

The Oregon Capitol in Salem reopened to the public Monday, July 12, ending a nearly 16-month lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legislative leaders, who control the Capitol's operations, closed the statehouse to the public on March 18, 2020. The move came 10 days after Gov. Kate Brown had declared a state emergency because of the virus that would go on to kill more than 600,000 people in the United States.

House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, and Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, said health officials had recommended access to the capitol be severely limited until infections fell below 50 per 100,000 population in Marion County, which includes Salem.

After Brown announced the lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions at the end of June, top legislators said the building would reopen July 12. Oregon has reached an Oregon Health Authority goal of getting at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine into 70% of eligible adults.

"With new guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and the lifting of county risk levels, we are excited to expand entry to the Capitol today to include members of the public," Kotek and Courtney said Monday in a joint statement.

The Oregon State Capitol Visitor Services said the Capitol Store would be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. for the next few weeks. Self-guided tours were allowed immediately, while guided tours will be offered daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. beginning July 19. Tours of the Capitol tower won't return until 2022.

Visitors will not be able to see the Senate and House chambers, which are undergoing renovations through the end of the year. The main entrance and rear entrance will be closed at time for the refurbishing work. During the closure, only state government officials, lawmakers, limited staff, some capitol employees, and journalists were allowed inside.

Vaccine Information

Oregon health care worker COVID-19 vaccination rates higher than rates among the broader public, but disparities persist

By the end of June, 94% of Oregon dentists, nearly nine in 10 medical doctors and nearly eight in 10 nurse practitioners had been vaccinated, according to new data released by OHA. Overall, more than seven in 10 health care workers in Oregon were vaccinated, outpacing the adult vaccination rate at the time.  

However, state data show that health care workers among American Indian/Alaskan Natives, Latino/a/x, Black and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander communities were under-vaccinated compared to their white counterparts. State health officials pointed out that health care professions reflect the communities from which they are drawn, and disparate rates of vaccinations based on race/ethnicity could be due to many factors, including age and structural barriers that hinder professional advancement and licensure. 

Health care worker vaccination rates varied based on licensee type, age, race, ethnicity and geographic location. The data are part of a new dashboard that reports COVID-19 vaccination rates among more than 20 categories of state-licensed health care workers in Oregon. OHA will continue to monitor and update vaccination rates among these workers monthly. 

OHA Director Patrick Allen said: “A fully vaccinated health care workforce is vital to patient safety and to protect the public against the pandemic. We’ll continue to support health systems and state licensing boards to increase health worker vaccination rates.”


Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine presents small risk of Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Today, CDC reported that reports to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) indicate a small risk of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) following receipt of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine. About 100 preliminary reports of GBS have been filed with VAERS after the administration of 12.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine. The cases were largely reported about 2 weeks after vaccination and mostly in males. This pattern has not been seen with the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, after administration of more than 321 million doses in the United States.  

The FDA has revised its fact sheets for the J&J vaccine, stating that “Reports of adverse events following use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine under emergency use authorization suggest an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) during the 42 days following vaccination.” 

GBS is a rare condition that damages nerve cells. The cause of the condition is unclear. According to the CDC, the condition often follows a viral or bacterial infection. It has also been associated with influenza vaccination, although studies suggest one is more likely to get GBS from the flu itself than from a flu vaccine. Most people recover from GBS, but some have had permanent nerve damage. 

CDC will review data related to the risk of GBS and benefit of preventing COVID-19 at an upcoming ACIP meeting. 


Oregon State University student wins the $1 million Take Your Shot Oregon incentive prize

vaccine prize winner


Governor Kate Brown announced the winner of the Take Your Shot Oregon $1 million incentive prize last Friday. She was joined by Oregon Lottery Director Barry Pack and Patrick Allen, Director of the Oregon Health Authority.  

The winner was Chloe Zinda from McMinnville, a student at Oregon State University, studying fine arts, and a part-time swim instructor. Chloe’s reason for getting the vaccine was to protect her students from getting COVID-19. Chloe plans to use the money to pay off her student loans, start a business as a fine artist, and possibly open a studio someday.  

“I’m very excited for our winner,” said Director Allen. “But I’m just as excited for our state. Thanks to our winner – and the more than 2.4 million other Oregonians who’ve received at least one dose of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines – COVID-19 no longer holds Oregon in its grip.”  

To read a more in-depth summary of the news conference go to the OHA blog, or you can see the full news conference here.  


Washington County Logo

Washington Co. Vaccine Information:

Every Oregonian age 12 and up is eligible for a vaccine. Twelve to 14 year-olds must be accompanied by either a parent, guardian or someone designated by the parent. If someone other than a parent or guardian accompanies the 12 to 14-year-old, they will need to provide proof of parental/guardian consent. 

Proof of consent is either:

  • A signed consent form (available in English and Spanish on the All4OR.org site) 
  • A written or typed note that includes the parent/guardians name, relationship to the young adult, their date of birth, a statement saying they consent to young adult being vaccinated and the parent/guardian signature.

Fifteen-year-olds do not need to be accompanied, and do not require parental consent in the state of Oregon.

NEW! Washington County's Mobile Vaccination Van: Our van is traveling the county to make it easier for people to get the vaccine close to where they live or shop. Find the schedule here.

Beaverton Resource Center: Most Fridays from July 16 through September 24. See the flier for exact dates and times. Pfizer for ages 12 and older. Located at 13565 SW Walker Road.

vaccine information for youth


Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Centers: All vaccination events are open to the community, do not require an appointment, and do not require you to be a Virginia Garcia patient. You do not have to have insurance in order to receive a vaccine. If you have insurance, please bring your card with you. Remember, vaccines are free!

Virginia Garcia vaccine information

Local pharmacies: As of April 27, 2021, pharmacies are required to offer second/boost doses to people who received their first dose somewhere else.

How much does the vaccine cost?  Vaccines are provided free of charge to the recipient. If you have health insurance, you may be asked to provide that information so the vaccinator can bill your insurance an administration fee.


Vaccination Targets Oregon
County vaccination rates

COVID-19 Updates

National Numbers: 

  • Confirmed Cases: 33,893,767
  • Deaths: 607,369
  • These national numbers come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  You can view their national and state by state data here.
National Covid Data


Oregon Status Report: 

  • Oregon now has 211,112 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.
  • Today we have 222 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 2 new deaths
  • A total of 2,829 Oregonians have died from COVID-19 (previous daily case updates from OHA here)
  • Washington County has 27,118 confirmed cases, including 254 deaths.  
  • The Oregon Health Authority provides 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 complex epidemiological data in an interactive, easy-to-understand way on a state and county level
Oregon Covid Data

Extreme Heat and Drought Information

When faced with extreme weather, OHA director Allen urges people in Oregon to take care of our neighbors

Today, three branches of Oregon’s leadership came together to address the extreme heat conditions that Oregon has already experienced this summer, and to discuss planning for future extreme heat events. Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Director Andrew Phelps was joined by OHA Director Patrick Allen, and Fariborz Pakseresht, director of Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) at the news conference. 

“The reality is that such excessive and deadly conditions may be here to stay. In the last five years, Oregon has recorded its hottest years in state history and, unfortunately, this trend is expected to continue,” said Director Allen. 

Director Allen pointed out that summer is not over, more excessive heat is expected and encouraged people in Oregon to take care of our neighbors. Here’s what you should know:  

  • Older adults and young children are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses, since they get dehydrated more quickly, and their ability to cool themselves might be lower.  
  • People with chronic health conditions may be at higher risk for heat-related illness.  
  • People with mental illness may not be able to take steps to cool themselves. 
  • Help your friends and family find and get to cool, air-conditioned public places and cooling centers when their homes get too hot.  
  • Drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty.  
  • Know the warning signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion – cramps, headache, dizziness. Heat illness can happen indoors or outdoors in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Don’t wait to call for help if you need it.  

Watch the video of the news conference to learn how OHA, OEM and ODHS prepared for the extreme heat and what their plans are to address extreme heat as well as other climate risks, including worsening drought conditions, increasing wildfires and more flooding events in the future. 

Wildfire Updates

Some areas of the state currently unhealthy for those in sensitive groups

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued an air quality advisory Monday for Jackson, Klamath, Lake and Wallowa counties as well as parts of Deschutes and Douglas counties due to smoke from the Bootleg Fire in Klamath County, the Jack Fire in Douglas County and Grandview Fire in Jefferson County. 

Conditions in these areas are currently "unhealthy for sensitive groups". If you have a heart or lung disease, such as congestive heart failure or asthma, or are an older adult or child, you are at higher risk of having health problems from smoke. 

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Friday. DEQ and partner agencies will continue to monitor smoke in these impacted areas. Smoke levels are expected to fluctuate during the day. Open your windows and doors when air quality is good to bring fresh air into your home. 

Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, DEQ’s Air Quality Index, or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone.  

You can read the full advisory in English or Spanish. More information on who’s at risk and what you can do is available here

air quality warnings


Preparing to evacuate due to wildfire risk

We know hearing about a nearby wildfire can be frightening. Understanding what to do to increase your safety can help address that fear.  

Whether you decide to evacuate or are asked to evacuate by state or local authorities, evacuate safely.  

Be sure to bring:  

  • An emergency food and water supply.  
  • An emergency medicine supply. Make a plan to keep medications that need refrigeration cold.  
  • Emergency power sources for medical devices and flashlights (don’t forget extra batteries).  
  • Safety and personal items, including a face covering and hand sanitizer to protect against COVID. Remember: face coverings do not protect against wildfire smoke.  
  • Important documents, including medical documents, proof of vaccination, wills, passports and personal identification.  

Are you traveling by car? Reduce smoke in your vehicle by closing your windows and vents and running your car’s air conditioner in recirculate mode. Plan a safe route at Trip Check.  

evacuation list


Managing asthma during wildfire season

Roughly 1 out of 10 people in Oregon suffer from asthma. Wildfires and pollution contain small particles that can make asthma worse. Here are some tips to help manage asthma. If you are concerned about air quality in your area, you can check the Air Now Fire and Smoke Map.  

managing asthma
oregon stronger together logo
Biden increases funding for wildfire relief


Wildfire Recovery Resources

OEM has put together this list of contacts to help speed up the process of replacing these documents:

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 ResourcesOregon 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 UpdatesFEMA has provided several different Fact Sheets and resources for accessing benefits, determining eligibility and avoiding scams.

Around Washington County

Game Hog Creek Fire west of Forest Grove breaks containment

Read more in the Forest Grove News-Times 

Firefighters from six Oregon Department of Forestry offices, along with crews from South Fork and industrial forest landowners who are providing water tender support, are fighting a wildfire burning in the Tillamook State Forest about 22 miles northwest of Forest Grove.

The Game Hog Creek Fire, which is burning in "timber and slash" north of Highway 6, was first reported July 3. Officials said it was contained to 6 acres, with control lines completely encircling it, as of the evening of July 13, before jumping control lines after dark Tuesday night and overnight into Wednesday, July 14.

"Last patrol was last night at about 5:30 p.m., and everything was good," Oregon Department of Forestry spokesperson Jim Gersbach said. "Then I guess the wind picked up and it must have crossed the line, somehow, which can happen."

Gersbach said that as of Wednesday morning, the fire is estimated at about 70 acres. About 100 personnel are engaged on the fire, including firefighters and support personnel from ODF offices in Tillamook, Columbia City, Astoria, North Cascades, Forest Grove and the West Oregon District in Polk County, as well as Hampton Lumber and Stimson Lumber Co.

Gersbach added — and South Fork Camp manager Dave Luttrell confirmed — that the terrain continues to make fighting and containing the fire difficult due to its "steep and inaccessible" nature.

But Gersbach also said that Wednesday's forecast temperatures in the 70s should aid crews' ongoing efforts.

"The weather's a bit cooler today, which is favorable," Gersbach said, "so they're really going to try and hit that hard."

The original cause of the fire remains under investigation. There was speculation that it may have been caused by fireworks, but Gersbach said he couldn't confirm that.

Drift Creek and Idiot Creek forest roads are closed, as is the Fear and Loaming mountain bike trail, due to fire activity in the area. Elk Creek campground is currently open, but smoke is likely in the area. To avoid exposure to possible smoke, campers may wish to stay away.


Washington County Fair Logo

Washington County Fair returns with some pandemic-related changes

This article comes from the Forest Grove News-Times 

For people itching for their fix of carnival rides, livestock shows, music, local food, shopping and other activities all in one place, the Washington County Fair is back and ready to deliver.

While the fair will include most of its usual features, it will look different than it did in years before its 2020 cancellation due to the pandemic.

This will be a year of firsts at the fair, said Lisa DuPre', the fair's marketing and events coordinator.

The festivities kick off at 5 p.m. Friday, July 23, at 801 N.E. 34th Ave. in Hillsboro at Westside Commons, previously known as the Washington County Fair Complex.

It's the first year the fair will use the Wingspan Event & Conference Center, which was under construction from 2018 to summer 2020.

People will be able to explore even more commercial vendors offering specialty goods than in previous years at the state-of-the-art 89,000-square-foot building, DuPre' said.

This is also the first year the fair will take place over the course of 10 consecutive days and two weekends from July 23 through Aug. 1.

As always, admission to the fair is free. Fair doors open at 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Additionally, parking at Westside Commons will be free Monday, July 26, through Thursday, July 29.

With the steady growth of the fair in recent years, fair officials had planned to forego the traditional four-day format and debut a 10-day format in 2020, DuPre' said.

Earlier this year, as planning for the fair was under way, the extended format became a convenient way to spread out activities and people as uncertainty about pandemic conditions persisted, she said.

Now, even though nearly all COVID-19 restrictions were lifted statewide last month, the 10-day format gives people who want to avoid large weekend crowds the opportunity to come during the week, DuPre' said.

People won't be seeing the big-name performances that came to fair in prior years, however, DuPre' said, because fair officials had to book entertainment when it was still unclear what the pandemic conditions would be.

The Washington County Fair Board didn't make the final call about whether to have a fair until April, DuPre' said.

But she added that bands including Catherine Loyer & Strawberry Roan and The Rock Bottom Boys, as well as entertainment such as the Matt Baker Comedy + Stunt Show and hypnotist Tina Marie, will give people plenty to see.

Although things might be more spread out due to pandemic planning, the fair will feature the same number of food vendors and carnival rides as in previous years, DuPre' said.

People can expect fewer heads of livestock being displayed by 4-H groups than usual due to pandemic uncertainty leading up to the summer, she said.

"In April, nobody was really sure what it would look like, what the guidance would be," DuPre said. "We had to be optimistic and roll our sleeves up and plan. Well, (the pandemic) got much better, luckily, for the community. Some stuff just couldn't materialize, but there will still be a lot to do."

She said one of the best aspects of the fair is that people have always been able to curate their own diverse fair experience.

That won't change this year, she said, despite some lingering pandemic-related adjustments.


Advertisement for FGSD

Forest Grove School District: Free BBQ in the Park 

FGSD Nutrition Services will be hosting FREE BBQs in parks on the following days! Nutrition Services will be serving up your choice of a hamburger, cheeseburger or a hot dog. There will also be watermelon, baked beans, and a treat from 12 to 12:30 pm!


7/20 Harleman Park

7/22 Lincoln Park

7/26 Rogers Park

7/27 Bard Park

8/4 Rose Grove Park

8/5 Talisman Park


¡Los Servicios de Nutrición de FGSD ofrecerán barbacoas GRATUITAS en los parques los días siguientes! Los Servicios de Nutrición servirán su elección de una hamburguesa, una hamburguesa con queso o un hot dog. ¡También habrá sandía, frijoles horneados y un bocadillo de 12 a 12:30 pm!


7/20 Parque Harleman

22/7 Lincoln Park

26/7 Rogers Park

27/7 Bard Park

8/4 Parque Rose Grove

8/5 Parque Talismán


Reading sign

Hillsboro Summer Reading 2021

Reading Colors Your World

Summer Reading is happening from June 1 to August 31.

Grab and Go summer reading bags for kids and teens will be distributed at sites around town during the summer. Bags will include a reading log, a free surprise book, a bookmark, and other fun goodies!  If you prefer to choose a book from a limited selection, along with a reading log, you can stop by our library locations starting June 1, any day, from 10 am to 6 pm. Quantities available while supplies last. 

Visit the Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) Event calendar to participate in virtual summer reading events all summer long!


Rep. McLain

I'm enjoying the beautiful summer here in Washington County!

Updates from Oregon Employment Department

Quarter Change Review

Last week we launched our “Quarter Change Review.” We are required by federal law to review active claims every calendar quarter. That means more than 49,000 people’s claims have to be reviewed—and this means some of them will see a delay in receiving benefits. The quarter review process may take up to five weeks to complete for some claims, although most will be resolved more quickly. We have completed 37% of the quarter change reviews.

We know people rely on these benefits and it’s a hardship any time benefits stop. Our employees are dedicated to getting through this review as quickly as possible, but it is important to us that we let people know when there may be interruptions in their benefits and to be transparent about the work we are doing.

We emailed claimants so they are not surprised if their benefits temporarily stop. When the review is complete, they will receive all benefits they are eligible for, including any retroactive benefits.


Overpayment Waiver

As we’ve mentioned in weeks’ past, we have been sending letters to claimants about overpayments. We continue encouraging people with overpayments who are facing financial barriers to apply for an overpayment waiver.

We do not waive overpayments if someone is found to have committed fraud.


Return to Work

Now that Oregon is close to being fully open, we want to make sure people receiving benefits knows about all the services available from WorkSource Oregon as they look to join or return to the workforce.

Our local WorkSource Oregon offices are open by appointment only. People can request to meet with a member of our team by in-person appointment, online appointment, or over the phone. People can also attend one of our drive-thru job fairs. Our skilled employees are available to help people update their resumes, improve their interview skills, find job training opportunities and more.

It’s important to remember that our WorkSource employees cannot help people with their unemployment insurance claims. The fastest way to get help is by submitting a ticket with our online "Contact Us” form at Unemployment.Oregon.gov.

We also encourage employers to contact WorkSource Oregon so we can help them find qualified workers.


iMatchSkills Registration Reminder

Right now, on a rotating basis, people receiving benefits are being required to register for iMatchSkills. This process lets employers find workers and people looking for work find jobs they are qualified for. If a person does NOT complete this process by their deadline, their benefits are paused. If they then complete the iMatchSkills registration process, they will receive all retroactive benefits for which they are eligible.

The good news is that most people whose deadline to register in iMatchSkills has passed have completed their registration process. Only about 4,000 people claiming benefits last week missed their deadline to register in iMatchSkills. That means since they have not yet registered, their benefits have stopped. We are reaching out to them to remind them to complete the registration process.

Another 6,757 people who claimed last week and have a July 10th deadline to register in iMatchSkills have not done so yet.


Work Search Requirements

Starting the week of July 25th, claimants will be required to actively seek work in order to receive benefits. People currently receiving regular UI or PEUC benefits, and some people on PUA, must complete work search activities. We want to make sure they know that if they do not seek work as required, or they cannot provide proof of work search when requested, their claim will be denied and their benefits will stop.

Regular UI and PEUC claimants will be required to report their work-seeking activities on their weekly certification for any week they want to receive benefits going forward. For more information on what qualifies as a work-seeking activity, view our FAQ.

PUA claimants who are NOT self-employed will have the same work-seeking requirements as people receiving regular UI or PEUC benefitsPUA claimants who are self-employed will be required to maintain work records for their business, including work to re-establish their business.

Anyone having trouble registering in iMatchSkills can look at our online tips and resources at unemployment.oregon.gov/ReturnToWork or call a WorkSource center for help (phone numbers are available at WorkSourceOregon.org)

 Our WorkSource Oregon centers are open by appointment only. An appointment can be made by calling local WorkSource Oregon centers. Remember: WorkSource Oregon employees are NOT claims specialists. The best way to get support on a claim is to fill out the “Contact Us” form on the OED website. 

Claimants who need assistance in languages other than English can also email us at OED_LanguageAccess@oregon.gov or call the backup language assistance hotline through Worksystems at 503-606-6969.

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

The following list of resources is from Oregon’s Secretary of State’s Office. The fastest way to get in touch with the SOS team is by emailing business.sos@oregon.gov, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting www.oregon.gov/smallbusiness.

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority



Forest Grove countryside with hazelnuts, wheat, hay, and grapes!

Forest Grove


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