Coronavirus

http://defazio.house.gov/

Oregon 4th District Representative Peter DeFazio Wednesday announced a $500-billion infrastructure bill that he says will create millions of jobs.

Lane Transit District

 

Lane Transit District will resume regular Sunday bus service beginning June 7. Passengers are asked to only take essential trips and wear face coverings over their nose and mouth.

Elizabeth Gabriel / KLCC News

 

According to Sgt. Carrie Carver, someone who tested positive for COVID-19 has stayed inside the Lane County Jail. But she said the arrestee remained isolated from others.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Most Oregon counties have applied to enter Phase Two of Gov. Kate Brown’s re-opening plan.

UPDATE (5:49 p.m. PT) — Calling in the National Guard ... for unemployment?

Unemployment in Oregon is so grave that the state Employment Department is considering bringing in the National Guard.

“In the past few days, we’ve started discussions with the National Guard about potentially having them help us call people about their claims,” Acting Director David Gerstenfeld said at a press briefing Wednesday.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department says worker layoffs are necessary because of a revenue dropoff caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency has been slowly reopening state parks with limited services throughout the state since closing them all in March, but it will now eliminate 47 positions by June 30 as it continues to face economic challenges due to COVID-19. Those positions include support staff and program coordinators from the Salem office.

Oregon State University

Colleges and universities in Oregon are still unsure what their fall terms will look like amid the ongoing uncertainties caused by the coronavirus.

My Oregon

Lane County renters who have lost income or have had health effects related to COVID-19 could be eligible for some help. Wednesday morning, applications for rent assistance will be available on the county's website.

Eugene Police

Friday night in Eugene, a peaceful protest over the death of George Floyd turned destructive. Within hours of the vandalism of a business complex at 7th and Washington, several local groups reached out to help. 

 

 


UPDATE (5:32 p.m. PT) — The Oregon Health Authority Tuesday reported an outbreak of coronavirus at Bob’s Red Mill in Clackamas County. The outbreak investigation began on May 27, OHA said. 

In a statement from Bob’s Red Mill CEO Dennis Vaughn, the company said there were 14 employees at its Milwaukie production facility that tested positive for COVID-19.

David Gerstenfeld took the helm of the beleaguered department this weekend, after Gov. Kate Brown asked for, and received, the resignation of director Kay Erickson. Erickson’s brief resignation letter was dated May 30, the same day Oregon’s senior U.S. Senator Ron Wyden called for her to step down.

Melorie Begay

Over the weekend, Eugene saw record numbers of protesters gathered and marching-- in close proximity-- for hours. All in the midst of a pandemic. Images of Sunday’s Black Lives Matter protest reveal thousands of participants wearing masks-- but several of the organizers on stage were un-masked and very close together.

NIH / Flickr.com

Over the weekend, Lane County Public Health learned of 9 new positive cases, one presumptive case and one new death assigned as COVID-19 related. As KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, this third fatal case remains under review.

The agency that regulates workplace safety in Oregon is still taking in far more complaints than normal, more than two months after the coronavirus started spreading through the state.

Corvallis City Club

The cities of Corvallis and Albany re-opened many of their offices to the public Monday for the first time since late March.

Hugh Link / Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission

The coronavirus has hit Oregon’s commercial fishing industry hard. That was the message to state lawmakers during a recent meeting of the House Interim Committee on Natural Resources.

Anthony Dal Ponte is with Pacific Seafood, which is based in Clackamas and has several facilities on the Oregon coast. He said the company had to lay off more than 500 employees after their restaurant and hospitality industry markets dried up virtually overnight.

UPDATE (7:12 p.m. PT) - Oregon’s death toll from COVID-19 rose to 154 Monday, according to the last figures released by the Oregon Health Authority.

In a release late Monday, OHA said the most recent death was a 59 -year-old man from Marion County. He died May 29 at Salem Hospital, the same day he tested positive.

Elizabeth Gabriel / KLCC News

 

After the death of George Floyd, protests have erupted across the nation in response to racism and police brutality. In Eugene, an estimated crowd of 7,000-10,000 people peacefully came together on Sunday to promote equality. 

More than 445,000 applications for unemployment benefits.

More than $1.5 billion in benefits paid.

A system ill-equipped to handle a plague.

And an apology, which laid-off workers likely value less than long-awaited checks.

UPDATE (5:25 p.m. PT) — A new analysis released Friday by the Oregon Health Authority estimates that there may have been approximately 20,000 coronavirus cases in Oregon by May 22, when about 4,000 cases had been confirmed.  

The report, put together by the Institute for Disease Modeling, states that “the aggressive interventions in Oregon have been effective in dramatically reducing transmission rates.” #160; 

It’s a highly unusual move.

After a hearing Wednesday in which lawmakers did not question leaders of the Oregon Employment Department about systemic problems delivering unemployment benefits to thousands of Oregonians, the House Interim Committee on Business and Labor has asked for a redo.

Committee chair Rep. Paul Holvey, D-Eugene, recalled both director Kay Erickson and senior official David Gerstenfeld to answer questions during a three-hour Saturday session.

UPDATE (3:01 p.m. PT) — The Oregon Health Authority Thursday confirmed a coronavirus outbreak at Townsend Farms, a fruit farm and processor based in Multnomah County with other locations in Marion and Washington counties. 

The outbreak, currently affecting 48 people, is at Townsend Farms’ locations in Fairview and Cornelius, OHA said.

Health officials said Thursday that the positive cases include 41 people in Multnomah County and seven people in Washington County.

 

Oregon State University

People in Bend could discover someone knocking on their door this weekend offering them a coronavirus test.

Lane Transit District

 

 

On Wednesday, Lane Transit District held a virtual public hearing on its proposed budget for next year. 

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LTD is projecting a $12 million reduction in employer and employee payroll taxes, fares, special services, and group pass program over the next year. Revenue that supports more than 80% of LTD’s annual operations. 

Lane County Public Health video

Elected officials say Lane County appears to remain on track to apply for Phase 2 of re-opening communities. Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis says seeing many businesses and city programs open is encouraging.

Utah State Exension

Federal health officials are cautioning Americans about another pandemic-related issue: rats.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, it’s been a recurring problem in the downtown Eugene area…but now it’s moving outward to homes.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

As travel and work engines slowly fire up in Oregon, Amtrak engines too are hoping to get back on track. 


FEMA

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly everyone in the world. Here in Oregon, people have already been preparing for a disaster to varying degrees for years. KLCC’s Rachael McDonald reports on what we’re learning now that might help in the next crisis.


Melorie Begay/KLCC News

 

Temporary COVID-19 homeless respite centers in Eugene and Springfield are expected to close when Lane County enters Phase Two of reopening. County officials are eyeing a June 5 end date. The City of Eugene will also shutdown their Designated Temporary Shelter Sites, but they'll wait until the county has been approved to enter Phase Two.

Just as a surge in COVID-19 infections appears to be subsiding, parts of the Warm Springs Reservation have no running water. 

About 35 residents have been affected since May 21, according to Warm Springs Emergency Manager Danny Martinez. “It’s mostly elders,” Martinez said.

With so many people working remotely due to the pandemic, Martinez said it’s been more difficult to get his calls returned by government agencies, contractors and tribal departments.

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