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Oregon's Coronavirus Cases Number 1,132, With 29 Deaths

<p>There is currently no vaccine to prevent contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.</p>

There is currently no vaccine to prevent contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

UPDATE (3:05 p.m. PT) Oregon state and local health officials reported 64 new cases of COVID-19 Monday afternoon, putting the state’s total at 1,132.

The Oregon Health Authority announced two new deaths: a 93-year-old man in Washington County and a 70-year-old woman in Marion County. Both had underlying health conditions.

OHA posts figures that have been reported to the agency by each county as of 8:00 a.m. that day. Some counties update their numbers after OHA’s daily report is released.

The Oregonian reported Sunday on the state's first death from the novel coronavirus; the paper identified the man as Lynn Bryan of Portland. The Army veteran grew up in Newberg, and loved to dance, his friends told the paper. Bryan died on March 14.

Washington Schools To Stay Closed For Remainder Of School Year

Washington schools won’t open their doors to students again this school year.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and state schools Superintendent Chris Reykdal announced Monday that the continuing coronavirus outbreak would keep instruction online for 1.2 million K-12 students through June.

State leaders closed schools March 17, but buildings had been scheduled to reopen April 27, before Monday's order.

Now, that closure is extended until midnight June 19 — when the spring term ends — and schools are encouraged to continue to provide distance learning. 

In a written statement, Reykdal acknowledged that the change won’t be easy. 

“These next two months will be tough. I won’t diminish that. However, learning must continue,” Reykdal said.

The order suggests a possible continuation of school closures into the summer and fall.

The order allows some  on-site services for graduating  seniors, for instance, but only if social distancing and proper hygiene practices are followed.

Reykdal said he’s working with a range of key players – from members of Congress to internet service providers – to help Washington move education online. He predicted that the effort “won’t be perfect.” 

“We will not let the fear of imperfection stand in our way,” Reykdal said.

Teachers hold a parade to greet students forced to learn at home

Sunday brought a happy but poignant occasion for some Beaverton students. Elmonica Elementary students gathered on the sidewalk in front of the King Courts apartments to get a glimpse of their teachers.

With Oregon schools canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and making the shift to online learning, the Oregon Department of Education says maintaining teacher and student relationships are key.

A group of staff at Elmonica Elementary arranged a parade around the school’s neighborhood — while maintaining social distance.

One-fourth grader wrote “Hello teachers” on a small whiteboard.

Elizabeth Miller has more on this story.

Washington reports first inmate case of COVID-19

Washington is reporting its first case of COVID-19 among prisoners. According to the Department of Corrections, an inmate at the Monroe Correctional Complex tested positive for the virus on Sunday. The agency said the inmate started feeling sick and was taken to a local hospital for “rapid COVID-19 testing.” After the test came back positive, he was returned to the prison and placed in isolation.

The minimum-security unit where he was previously housed has been placed on quarantine. The agency says all 119 inmates in that unit will be checked regularly for symptoms. Previously, nine DOC staff members and an inmate who was already hospitalized in the community tested positive.

Austin Jenkins has more on this story.

Portland may borrow $100 million for COVID-19 response

Portland City Council will consider Wednesday selling $100 million in revenue bonds to temporarily bolster Portland’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Portland Tribune reports.

According to a financial impact statement, the ordinance authorizing the sale broadly defines how the funds will be spent on city operations to provide flexibility in the city’s coronavirus response.

"Because the impact of the emergency on the City and the Portland community is not fully known at this time, it is uncertain whether the General Fund Reserve can provide sufficient resources to address City needs," the statement reads.

The city’s general fund reserve has a balance of approximately $60 million, half of which could be spent on emergency relief.

The bonds must be repaid within two years, but could be extended. They can be repaid from a variety of city revenue sources, including property taxes and fees.

Clark County sees 3 more deaths

Clark County reported that over the weekend it had 31 more people test positive for COVID-19, bringing the county's total to 168 cases since testing began.

Three more people also died of the disease over the weekend. The county has been one of the hardest hit areas in the Portland metro region, and has a total of 11 coronavirus related deaths.

The county also reported Monday that 14 people remain hospitalized with the disease, with six of those people receiving intensive care.

Washington, Oregon sending ventilators to help other states

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that his state plans to return more than 400 ventilators it received from the Strategic National Stockpile, to go to New York, and other states that need them more. Oregon is also sending 140 ventilators to New York.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

OPB Staff