UPDATE (3:10 p.m. PT) — Following the lead of cities like Oakland, Seattle, and Denver, Portland announced Tuesday it will be closing and modifying city streets to provide room for social distancing.
John Brady, a spokesperson for the Portland Bureau of Transportation, said the agency hasn’t determined which city streets will receive these treatments yet.
That’ll be hammered out in the next two to three weeks. He says the plan is to have this project - officially titled the “Slow Streets|Safe Streets initiative” - help Portlanders maintain social distancing as the city starts to reopen.
The Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services announced Tuesday that most Oregon offices will remain closed to the public until further notice.
Only six DMV field offices will be open by appointment only for limited commercial driver licensing services, the agency said.
The offices open for commercial driver licensing appointments are in Baker City, Bend, Hermiston, Medford, North Salem and Southeast Portland (at 8710 Southeast Powell Boulevard).
All other DMV services, including renewing registration, change of address or reporting the sale of a vehicle, must be done by mail or online.
Oregon law enforcement agencies are continuing to support a grace period for enforcing expired drivers’ credentials such as driver licenses and identification cards, vehicle registrations and disable parking permits.
Oregon Known Coronavirus Deaths Near 100
Health officials in Oregon reported Tuesday 31 new confirmed coronavirus cases bringing the state’s total known cases to 2,385.
Health officials also announced Tuesday seven new coronavirus-related deaths.
The Oregon Health Authority details the new deaths as:
A 93-year-old female in Clackamas County who tested positive on April 17 and died on April 27 in her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.
A 73-year-old man in Marion County who tested positive on March 30 and died on April 26 at Salem hospital. He had underlying medical conditions.
A 92-year-old man in Marion County who tested positive on April 20 and died on April 25 at Salem hospital. He had underlying medical conditions.
A 93-year-old female in Multnomah County who tested positive on April 17 and died on April 26 at Legacy Mt. Hood Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.
A 69-year-old female in Multnomah County who tested positive on April 17 and died on April 23 at Adventist Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.
A 72-year-old man in Multnomah County who tested positive on April 24 and died on April 26 at Legacy Mt. Hood Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.
A 91-year-old man in Yamhill County who tested positive on April 25 and died on April 26 at Providence Newberg Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.
The number of people who have died of COVID-19 in Oregon is now at 99.
Clark County reports 4 new known coronavirus cases
In Southwest Washington, Clark County Public Health Tuesday reported four new confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the county’s total number of known cases to 343.
No new deaths were reported Tuesday. In total, 21 people are known to have died of COVID-19 in Clark County.
The latest available data from the Washington Department of Health show 13,686 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus and 765 related deaths.
The U.S. as a whole has hit 1 million coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
University of Oregon intends to have in-person classes in the fall
The University of Oregon said Tuesday that it intends to return to in-person, on-campus classes in the fall.
“Our fall plans will comply with Gov. Kate Brown’s emerging strategy to reopen Oregon and will be informed by guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and Lane County Public Health,” the university said in a statement.
UO, like other colleges and universities in Oregon, is currently providing remote classes for its spring and summer terms.
Pandemic unemployment assistance now available to Oregonians
The Oregon Employment Department announced Tuesday that it is now providing unemployment benefits through the CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
The program lets Oregonians who may not have previously been eligible for regular unemployment benefits to now file claims. Those people include self-employed workers, independent contractors, people who did not earn enough wages to qualify for regular unemployment and people who aren’t subject to unemployment insurance tax, such as agricultural workers.
Additionally, to be eligible, a person must be either unemployed, partially unemployed or unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic. The department said the benefits are retroactive to the first week a person’s work was impacted by COVID-19, as early as Feb. 2, 2020.
There is information on how to apply on the CARES Act section of the employment department’s COVID-19 web page.
Artist Gesine Krätzner’s hugging creatures
Portland animation designer and sculptor Gesine Krätzner has devised “Hugs By Mail”—cute creatures that deliver hugs to those you can’t hug in person.