Coronavirus

Karen Richards

The world’s top athletes will not experience Eugene’s new Hayward Field this year. The Diamond League announced today (Friday) the 2020 Prefontaine Classic has been cancelled.

Benton County isn’t in the part of Oregon affected by Governor Kate Brown’s face covering mandate. But county leaders are still strongly encouraging residents to wear them anyway.

Democratic leaders in the Oregon House of Representatives have agreed to explore protecting businesses, schools, local governments and others from being sued if someone catches COVID-19 on their premises.

Following mounting pressure from Republicans, industry groups and 10 members of her own caucus, House Speaker Tina Kotek signaled to state representatives in a Wednesday evening email that she would convene a work group to explore the issue, and potentially take it up in another special session expected in July.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

To better understand how COVID-19 is moving through rural communities, Lane County Public Health is conducting low-barrier testing at several locations over the next month.

Lane County Public Health

For the second time this week, a COVID-19 case cluster has been identified in the Eugene/Springfield area. Transmission of the virus appears to have occurred as the result of young people in a loose party setting.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will commute the sentences of 57 prison inmates who she said are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

The announcement comes four months into the state's response to the global pandemic. 

“I received a list of 61 adults in custody from the Department of Corrections for consideration of commutation," Brown said in a statement. "I have authorized the commutation process to begin for 57 of those individuals, all of whom are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and who do not present an unacceptable public safety risk."

Chris Lehman / KLCC

An iconic downtown attraction in Salem has re-opened after a three month closure due to the coronavirus.

uorapidresponse.com

A University of Oregon-led research project has been tracking the neurological effects of the coronavirus pandemic on families with children under 5 years old since April.

COPE Study

Just how is the coronavirus pandemic impacting pregnant women and mothers of newborns? A University of Oregon psychology professor is part of an international effort to find out.

Rachael McDonald / KLCC

Lincoln County has changed its face covering directive to remove a portion that exempts people of color. County commissioners announced the change Wednesday after saying they received threats from people who claimed the policy was racist.

Lincoln County

A key element in curbing the spread of COVID-19 is contacting people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus. That includes Oregonians who don’t speak English as their first language.

Rachael McDonald

Lane County Public Health has identified a COVID-19 “cluster” in the Eugene/Springfield area. The new case group—at least 7 people so far-- includes 3 University of Oregon students. Transmission appears to have occurred while bar-hopping. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Lincoln County has reported its second COVID-19 related death, as the effort to slow the spread of the virus there continues.

After weeks of relying on voluntary compliance, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday afternoon announced an enforceable, statewide requirement that people wear face coverings when in public, including outdoors when six feet of separation can't be maintained. The new public health order, to be issued by the Secretary of Health, takes effect on Friday.

UPDATE (12:52 p.m. PT) — Coronavirus diagnoses continued to surge in Oregon Sunday, with 190 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 6,937 cases. About 20% of all cases of the virus detected since the outbreak reached Oregon in February have come in the past seven days, as the state eases restrictions amid a surge spurred by outbreaks at workplaces and a church.

Though new infections are climbing, the death rate remains steady, with one confirmed COVID-19 death Sunday. That brings the state’s total to 190 deaths.

UPDATE (12:56 p.m. PT) — Oregon health officials reported 206 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the state Friday, bringing the total number of known cases to 6,572.

The bulk of the new cases are in Multnomah County, with 49 new known cases. There are also 31 new cases in Lincoln, 24 in Umatilla, 23 in Clackamas and 20 in Marion counties.

Elizabeth Gabriel / KLCC News

 

On June 9, Lane County Jail detainees Bryan MacDonald, Scott Novascone and Thomas Retallick Jr. filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Kate Brown, Lane County Circuit Court Judge Charles Zennache, Lane County Sheriff Cliff Harrold and Lane County Jail Captain Clint Riley. The lawsuit claims the jail has not implemented enough COVID-19 protocols, and have violated their constitutional rights.  

UPDATE (1:05 p.m. PT) — Oregon health officials reported 148 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the state Thursday, bringing the total number of known cases to 6,366.

The Oregon Health Authority also reported four new deaths Thursday, bringing the state’s total deaths to 187.

OHA describes the new deaths as:

An 82-year-old woman in Marion County who tested positive June 4 and died June 14. Her place of death is being confirmed. She had underlying medical conditions. 

Rachael McDonald / KLCC

As the University of Oregon and Oregon State University welcome more people back onto campus, both schools are now requiring face coverings to be worn in all campus buildings.

United Way of Lane County

There’s new data out on a section of the population-- often overlooked: the WORKING POOR. United Ways of the Pacific Northwest just released the latest ALICE Report. 

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Train passengers in Oregon and Washington will have fewer options this fall under a service reduction plan announced by Amtrak this week.

Leaders at the Oregon Department of Corrections said Wednesday the spike in positive cases of COVID-19 outside its prisons poses an obstacle to resuming in-person visits between families and inmates.

Oregon DOC suspended in-person visits at all its facilities March 12 to slow the spread of the disease. It's been months since families, friends and attorneys have been able to meet with people serving sentences.

DOC Director Colette Peters acknowledged the importance of maintaining connections between people in custody and those on the outside.

Residents in seven Oregon counties will be required to wear face masks while in indoor public spaces, under a directive Gov. Kate Brown is planning to put into effect next week.

And she's allowing Oregon's largest county to begin reopening.

As the state sees a spike in new positive cases of COVID-19, and an uptick in hospitalizations, Brown announced Wednesday that people in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Marion, Polk, Hood River and Lincoln counties will need to abide by new guidelines when they’re at the grocery store and other public indoor businesses.

Green Valley Rehabilitation Center

A staff person at the Green Valley Rebilitation Center in Eugene has tested positive for COVID-19. Lane County Public Health spokesperson Jason Davis says response was rapid.

American Red Cross

When blood is donated, it’s tested for diseases like HIV and Hepatitis before being sent to hospitals for use. Now, for a limited time, The American Red Cross will test all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies and notify donors whether they have been exposed to the virus.

Gov. Kate Brown is calling the Legislature back into special session on June 24 to focus on passing tougher police accountability laws and address some of the issues raised by the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor said she doesn’t plan to focus on budget issues next week, but plans to call legislators back later this summer to address financial issues.

With widespread protests against racial injustice and police brutality continuing across the state and nation, the governor said it's time for the state Legislature to act.

Rachael McDonald / KLCC

Lincoln County is set to become the first jurisdiction in Oregon to require the use of face coverings in all indoor public places.

Oregon State Athletics

Around 100 student athletes from various sports are being welcomed back to Oregon State University's campus this week, with more expected over the next several weeks. 

Image by Nenad Maric from Pixabay

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in May to 14-point-3 percent, according to the Oregon Employment Department. That’s still near the record high rate of 14-point-9 percent set in April.

Oregon Health & Science University is working on a new approach to studying the spread of COVID-19 after health-care experts from Oregon's communities of color raised concerns that the original project's design was flawed by racial biases.

"We are prepared to include community leaders at every level of study, from leadership to study design, and shared decision making," said David Bangsberg, dean of the school of public health that's jointly run by OHSU and Portland State University.

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