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​​Oregon House Republican Caucus

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1400
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE,​ H-395, Salem, Oregon 97301

 
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April 3, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials.)

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

899

COVID-19 Related Deaths

22

Negative Tests

16,535

 

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

204

 

Public Health Response

Hospitals

  • The Recommendations from the Governor’s Joint Taskforce on Health Systems Response for COVID-19 is being implemented through a regional strategy through engaging local, tribal and regional partners.
  • Five regional preparedness areas exist in Oregon.  These structures have been in place for over a decade.
  • Regional Health Care Coalitions are federally funded and maintain preparedness and recovery plans.
  • Local public health officials, emergency management, EMS providers, and hospitals make up the membership of the Regional Health Care Coalitions.  100% of Oregon hospitals participate in their local coalition.
  • Regional Trauma Centers are being designated as Regional Resource Hospitals that can serve as a transfer center for their region and serve a role in hospital bed management.
  • OHA is working to help build up staffing to support the coalitions.
  • Realtime data collection coordination tools are being deployed to help information flow to state and federal partners.
  • Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Human Services will be issuing guidance to providers around their obligations to serve people with disabilities, clarifying that someone’s status of having a disability cannot enter into decisions of care guidance.
  • Further conversations will be held next week about what can be done to assist rural hospitals being put at financial risk due to the restrictions on elective procedures.

Social Distancing

  • Google has released and Oregon Mobility Report that shows a marked decrease in physical movement around the state in line with ODOT traffic counts.
  • We are now 24 days out from the initial steps towards social distancing.  That means over the next few weeks we will be seeing what the impacts have been of the steps taken in Oregon.
  • With hunting and fishing seasons coming up, the Governor’s office is evaluating what can be done to encourage social distancing.  ODFW will be increasing enforcement on the Oregon coasts with the start of the shellfish season.
  • Lawyers are meeting to discuss issues that might be able to be addressed in future executive orders.  The Governor’s office will be working with leadership and members of the Coronavirus Response committee to identify the issues where an executive order could be enacted.

Testing and Supplies

  • Rapid testing kits are expected to be delivered soon.  There will be around 100 with a limited number of cartridges per kit.  They will be deployed according to priority areas.

Childcare

  • 700 applications have been processed for childcare providers interested in providing emergency child care.
  • Emergency Childcare will prioritize serving the children of health care workers and first responders.
  • The list of emergency childcare providers is now available in the 211 system.

 

Economic Relief

Business Resources

 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 
 
 
April 2, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials.)

 

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

826

COVID-19 Related Deaths

21

Negative Tests

15,259

 

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

188

 

Public Health Response

Hospitals

  • The Recommendations from the Governor’s Joint Taskforce on Health Systems Response for COVID-19 is being implemented through a regional strategy through engaging local, tribal and regional partners.
  • The Oregon Health Authority has released 60% of the Quality Pool Fund dollars to Coordinated Care Organizations early in order to preserve their local provider networks.  This ends up being about $98 million.
  • Coordinated Care Organizations are meeting with their boards to determine the distribution of that spending.
  • CCOs are required to send in a plan on how that money is being sent by April 10th.

Testing and Supplies

  • Daily calls are occurring between OHA and the testing labs that are out there.  Check-ins are occurring with hospital laboratories to see if there are bottlenecks that can be cleared.
  • Faster options for testing are out there, but they are not quite ready to be plugged in in Oregon yet.
  • A shipment of 140 ventilators was received from FEMA as well as a shipment of masks.
  • There is another shipment of supplies coming from the feds in the next couple of days.

 

Economic Relief

Business Resources

Federal Response

  • Oregon is expected to receive around 1.63 billion dollars under the federal allocation for state and local governments.
  • Paycheck Protection Loans will be available starting tomorrow, April 3rd, 2020.
  • These loans may be used for businesses to pay for rent/mortgages as well as wages and benefits for their employees.
  • Employers who keep their employees on the payroll through June 30th can have up to 2.5x their payroll forgiven.
  • These funds may be used to hire back employees who have already been laid off.
  • This program can be accessed through your local lenders.

Unemployment Insurance

  • You can find additional information on the Employment Department’s COVID-19 page.
  • Oregon went from having historic low unemployment to having historic high levels of Unemployment Insurance claims.
  • There were around 90,000 claims for new benefits last week. More people are making UI claims now than were at the height of the Great Recession.
  • The Employment Department started with around 100 employees processing Unemployment Insurance Claims, they have since moved to around 200 employees and are on their way to having 300 employees working on UI claims. The department is working with DAS and the Governor’s office to increase staff capacity.
  • New staff is being trained to handle simpler tasks, so more experienced staff can focus on more complex issues.
  • The Employment Department is now able to process the same amount of UI claims in a single day as they used to in an entire month, but are still struggling to keep up with the surge in claims.
  • Changes have been made to the Employment Department’s phone system to be able to process claims more quickly. 
  • Governor Brown has signed an agreement with the Department of Labor on new Unemployment Insurance programs under the federal CARES Act.  The first round of guidance from the Department of Labor on those programs is expected to be received today.
  • There will be a series of updates to the UI application as new guidance comes out of the Department of Labors.  All programmatic changes can not be made at once.
  • The new federal programs are generally funded by federal dollars, so Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance Trust is not under immediate threat.
  • The CARES Act provided for a 13-week extension of UI benefits, so those currently receiving benefits and nearing expiration will not be cut off.
  • Those already receiving unemployment will receive the additional $600 paid through the state system with federal funds.
  • The Employment Department is waiting for guidance on the implementation of the Pandemic Employment Assistance Program for independent contractors, gig workers, and other workers who were not contributing into the UI fund. There may be a separate application for these benefits, but it remains to be determined.
  • Employers should not see an effect on their Unemployment Insurance rates till January.
  • You can find a list of Frequently Asked Questions from the Employment here: Oregon Unemployment Insurance Benefits Overview.

 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 
 
April 1, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials.)

Positive COVID-19 Cases

736

COVID-19 Related Deaths

19

Negative Tests

14,132

 

Available Adult ICU Beds

291

Available Adult Non-ICU Beds

2,006

Available Pediatric ICU Beds

66

Available Pediatric Non-ICU Beds

193

Available Ventilators

762

COVID-19 Patients on Ventilators

38

 

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

167

 

Public Health Response

COVID-19 Modeling

  • Updated modeling has been released. The modeling shows that measures currently in place in Oregon are reducing transmission. The most recent data suggest that current social distancing measures could cut transmission rates between 50%-70% if Oregonians maintain these limitations on virus-spreading interactions into early May.

Hospital Capacity

  • The Governor’s Joint Taskforce for Health Care System Response has provided an action plan to inform the state’s response in preparing to address impacts on capacity.
  • The Oregon Health Authority Incident Management Team will be working with the state’s Regional Health Care Coalitions to implement the Taskforce’s recommendations.
  • Regional Health Care Coalitions are made up of local public health officials, EMS providers, hospitals, and others. These regional coalitions have been in place for over a decade.
  • $2 million has been allocated for grants to rural hospitals through the hospital association.
  • $100 million has been distributed to Oregon’s Community Care Organizations to support rural community health care systems.

Education

Distance Learning Guidance

  • The Oregon Department of Education has issued new guidance for school districts to provide distance learning for students.
  • Based on what the trajectory of the virus is showing, it is unlikely that we will open school doors again this year.
  • School districts are moving away from simply providing educational resources for families to actually providing learning for students.
  • Teachers will be providing learning packets to students as well as doing phone calls, conference calls, video calls and other means to deliver education.
  • Scripts will be provided to teachers for interacts with families.  Families will be the first point of contact for the school district to make.
  • The ODE’s COVID-19 website has resources for families and students, but some questions will need to be answered by their specific school district.
  • Family involvement will be a crucial part of remote learning, particularly for younger students.
  • The decision on whether or not school will be cancelled for the rest of the year is ultimately up to the Governor.
  • Some school districts are considering extending the school year into Summer.  Any extension of the school year will require additional resources.
  • Students with special needs who had aids working with them in the classroom will continue to receive assistance from aids remotely.
  • Different options are being explored for graduating seniors.  It has not yet been determined if there will be a single statewide approach or if individual districts will apply for waivers.
  • If distance-learning is successful then students could continue to earn their credits.  This is likely not possible for all students or districts.  ODE is weighing options on graduation requirements.
  • Some school districts are facing supply chain issues in providing means, particularly around paper bags and plates.

Economic Relief

Business Resources

  • Business Oregon is converting the front page of its website to provide businesses with resources for dealing with COVID-19. This should be finished soon.
  • Secretary Mnuchin announced that come Friday, businesses will be able to apply through their local lender for the Paycheck Protection loan program that will provide businesses with up to eight weeks of funding to keep employees on the payroll. The Treasury Department released useful information for lenders and borrowers, and a copy of the application here.

Evictions Moratorium

  • Governor Brown has issued a 90-day moratorium on commercial evictions for nonpayment through a new executive order similar to the moratorium on residential evictions.
  • The Governor also strengthened the residential eviction order by banning residential evictions for nonpayment, ensuring that landlords cannot initiate eviction proceedings on their tenants or charge late fees if a tenant is unable to pay because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 
 
March 31, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials.)

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

690

COVID-19 Related Deaths

18

Negative Test

13,136

 

Available Adult ICU Beds

280

Available Adult Non-ICU Beds

2,113

Available Pediatric ICU Beds

85

Available Pediatric Non-ICU Beds

203

Available Ventilators

749

COVID-19 Patients on Ventilators

40

 

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

154

 

Public Health Response

COVID-19 Modeling

  • Up to date information regarding updated modeling will be coming tomorrow.
  • Evidence is showing that the social distancing protocols are slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Testing and Supplies

  • There has been an outpouring of donations and referrals for manufacturing coming into the state.
  • PPE shortages are a global issue due to historically relying on manufacturing in Asia.
  • Personal Protective Equipment is coming into the state from donations, FEMA, and direct purchases from manufacturers.
  • DAS is making purchases of PPE right now. 
  • Not all potential vendors end up being credible, but everyone who contacts the Emergency Command Center is being followed up with.
  • A team of manufacturing experts is working with businesses in Oregon around repurposing for PPE production.
  • PPE is needed for other essential workers outside of the health care field, but health workers are the top priority.
  • Tracking the PPE coming in as well as the burn rates are essential to determining PPE distribution.
  • Conversations are occurring on how to protect businesses who want to produce PPE, but are worried about their legal liability.
  • The FDA has approved new more rapid tests that should be rolling out in the next week or so.

Distance Learning Guidance

  • Oregon Department of Education has released new guidance on Distance Learning due to Oregon’s extended school closure.
  • Oregon Education Director Colt Gill said in a message to superintendents “We also foresee the strong possibility that our students may not come back through our schoolhouse doors this academic year,”

Oregon Health Plan

  • OHA has received flexibility from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove barriers for Oregonians to qualify for, enroll in, and stay enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). Key changes include:
    • All members who are currently enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan will not lose coverage during this crisis. This includes coverage that is only state-funded (i.e. Cover all Kids).
    • Individuals can sign up for OHP without having to verify their income (submit a pay stub) with their application. They will be able to self-attest, which will help Oregonians get access to OHP coverage more quickly.
    • Federal stimulus payments and increased unemployment payments will not affect OHP eligibility. They will not be counted during the application process or when members report a change in their household.

 

Economic Relief

Business Resources

  • Business Oregon is taking the lead on putting together a small business hub to serve as a one-stop shop for resources for businesses.
  • The Paycheck Protection Program from the federal stimulus bill is a loan-to-grant program for businesses and 501(c)(3)s with less than 500 employees.
  • Borrowed money spent on specific expenses such as payroll, mortgages/rent, and mortgage interest can be forgiven. Loans are 100% guaranteed by the SBA.
  • Businesses can borrow their average payroll costs x 2.5.
  • This Small Business Association program can be accessed through local lenders.

Federal Response

  • Stimulus checks to individuals are being handled by the IRS. 
  • Those who have not filed taxes should file a short form for 2019 taxes so they have a filing for their distribution.

Unemployment Insurance

  • There will be a $600 increase in unemployment insurance benefits.
  • 13 additional weeks of federally-funded unemployment insurance benefits will immediately be made available.
  • Waiting periods are being waived and access to unemployment insurance is expanded to part-time, self-employed and gig economy workers who find themselves unemployed because of COVID-19.

 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 

March 30, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials.)

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

606

COVID-19 Related Deaths

16

Negative Test

12,277

 

Available Adult ICU Beds

291

Available Adult Non-ICU Beds

2,059

Available Pediatric ICU Beds

67

Available Pediatric Non-ICU Beds

203

Available Ventilators

132

COVID-19 Patients on Ventilators

39

 

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

140

 

Public Health Response

COVID-19 Modeling

  • The first update to the model has been received.  More information on it will be available in upcoming days.
  • The model is encouraging in showing that what we are doing is working, but also that we must continue social distancing or risk an upturn.
  • We will need another two weeks’ worth of data before we can have an idea of when social distancing protocols might be scaled back.

Hospital Capacity

  • 5 Regional Coalitions across the state are coordinating on to identify step down bed capacity.
  • County Commissioners should loop in with their local health departments for these conversations.
  • Those interested in volunteering to help set up care capacity should do so through Serv-OR.
  • OHA is directing money to rural hospitals that are losing cash due to the ban on elective procedures through CCOs and other existing channels.

Testing and Supplies

  • Oregon should now be able to test at a rate of 7,000-10,000 tests per week.
  • Oregon is about 15% above the national average for testing on a per capita basis.
  • The number of Ventilators reported by OHA does not include the 140 ventilators received from the federal government nor does it include the 40 older ventilators from the National Guard.  Those ventilators are being inspected and inventoried, then they will be added to state stockpiles
  • A request has been made for 200 more ventilators.
  • Ventilator machines are not as critical as having the teams to run them.  ICU bed capacity is ultimately a better metric.
  • The Emergency Coordination Center is currently screening vendors who may be able to help with PPE production.
  • More information on PPE will be provided tomorrow.

Messaging

  • The Stay Home, Save Lives Public Service Announcement campaign from Wyden-Kennedy has launched.
  • Oregon Health Authority is working on a complimentary campaign looking to reach at-risk and under communicated  populations.

 

Economic Relief

Federal Response

  • Officials are looking through the 900-page federal stimulus bill to get a better idea of what Oregon will be receiving.
  • We are waiting for a number of agencies to release guidance on the legislation so we will know more about how it will be implemented.
  • The bill includes:
    • $350 million for the Paycheck Protection Program, which sets aside money for government-backed loans through the Small Businesses Association.  This provides loans of up to $10 million for businesses to provide 8 weeks of payroll to their employees.  The loans will turn into grants for businesses that maintain their employees at their current salary levels.
    • Expanded eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans
    • $10 billion for Emergency Economic Injury grants.
    • Payments of $1,200 for individuals and $24,000 for couples.  $500 for dependent children. First checks are expected to go out on April 24th.
    • Coronavirus Relief Fund, $150 billion for states and tribal governments.

 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 

March 29, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from reports from the Oregon Health Authority.)

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

548

COVID-19 Related Deaths

13

Negative Test

10,878

 

Available Adult ICU Beds

285

Available Adult Non-ICU Beds

2010

Available Ventilators

767

 

Available Pediatric ICU Beds

66

Available Pediatric Non-ICU Beds

193

COVID-19 Patients on Ventilators

37


 

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

129


 

March 28, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from reports from the Oregon Health Authority.)

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

479

COVID-19 Related Deaths

13

Negative Test

9,693

 

Available ICU Beds

351

Available Non-ICU Beds

2,288

Available Ventilators

746

 

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

117

 

March 27, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials.)

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

414

COVID-19 Related Deaths

12

Negative Test

8,510

 

Available ICU Beds

360

Available Non-ICU Beds

2,294

Available Ventilators

715

 

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

102

 

Public Health Response

COVID-19 Modeling

  • You can find a link to the model here: IDM COVID-19 Modeling Oregon
  • Data is being taken in from all the testing in Oregon and will be used to refine the model every week.
  • Around 5% of the people being tested are found to test positive for COVID-19.

Medicaid Waivers

  • On March 20th Oregon submitted a request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services asking for several waivers that would help providers, hospitals, and patients prepare for the COVID-19 surge.
  • The declaration of a national emergency triggered the state’s ability to apply for these 1135 waivers.
  • On March 25th about 1/3rd of the authorities requested were approved.  The remaining requests are still being examined.
  • Because of these waivers, Oregon will have the flexibility to add to the health care workforce, honor out of state licenses and certifications, streamline requirements to make it easier for out of state providers to come to Oregon.  Additionally, Medicaid provider enrollment requirements have been waived so that enrollment may occur faster.
  • Information has been sent to Coordinated Care Organizations on how providers can receive a quick turn around on enrollment and getting providers Medicaid ID numbers.
  • Waivers were also granted that provide opportunities for screening before patients enter an emergency department and for services to be delivered at an alternative site in case of overflow.
  • Because of these waivers, Oregon Health Plan members will have more flexibility.  Durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, can be replaced without a physician order.
  • Oregon now has the ability to suspend prior authorization requests. There will be no requirement to get new authorization.
  • A Disaster State Plan amendment will be submitted on March 31st.  If granted, this will allow for more flexibility on member enrollment and eligibility for the Oregon Health Plan.

Housing and Homelessness

  • New guidance came out this morning on housing shelters and homelessness around what the latest Executive order means for shelters and the homeless population.
  • Shelters are encouraged to continue to provide services while doing their best to observe social distancing.
  • People experiencing homelessness are not subject to enforcement under Executive Order 20-12 simply for being out on the street.

 

Economic Relief

Federal Response

  • Congress passed the federal stimulus bill today and it is on its way to the President’s desk.
  • The Federal Stimulus package provides $150 billion to states, territories, local and tribal governments to use for expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 in the face of revenue declines, allocated by population proportions.
    • Distribution is based on population. Every state will receive a minimum of $1.25 billion.
    • 45% of a state’s funds are set aside for local governments, with populations that exceed 500,000, with certified requests to the U.S. Secretary of Treasury. Certification requires a signature by the chief executive of the local government that the uses are consistent with certain requirements.
    • $8 billion for tribal governments.
  • Funds can be used for costs that:
    • Are necessary expenditures incurred due to COVID-19.
    • Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of the date of enactment of this section.
    • Were incurred during the period that begins March 1, 2020, and ends Dec. 30, 2020.
  • Establishes a $500 billion lending fund for medium and large businesses, cities and states.

  • Establishes a $350 billion lending fund for small businesses.

  •   One-time tax rebate check:
    • $1,200 for an individual, $2,400 for a couple, $500 per child.
    • Not reduced for lower income Americans.
    • Reduced for higher income Americans, starting at $75,000 or $150,000 per couple.
    • Phases out completely for individuals with adjusted gross income of $99,000 or $198,000 for couples.
  • Provides $30 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund for states, school districts and institutions of higher education for costs related to the coronavirus. 
  • Provides $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal and territorial governments to protect citizens and help them respond and recover from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19.
  • Provides $1.4 billion for deployments of the National Guard. This level of funding will sustain up to 20,000 members of the National Guard, under the direction of the governors of each state, for the next six months in order to support state and local response efforts.
  • Provides an additional $4.3 billion, thorough the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to support federal, state and local public health agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus.
  • Extends Real ID deadline for full implementation by states from Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021.
  • Expands unemployment insurance from three to four months, and provides temporary unemployment compensation of $600 per week, which is in addition to and the same time as regular state and federal UI benefits.

SNAP Benefits

  • Oregonians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will now be able to purchase groceries online from Walmart and Amazon in order to help abide by social distancing protocols.

Real ID

  • Oregon has received an extension on Real ID requirements as part of the national extension.
  • The Real ID deadline has been pushed back to October 1st, 2020.
  • ODOT is still on track to begin issuing Real ID-compliant licenses in July of 2020.

 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 

March 26, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials.)

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

316

COVID-19 Related Deaths

11

Negative Test

6,953

 

Available ICU Beds

362

Available Non-ICU Beds

2,193

Available Ventilators

684

 

 

Public Health Response

COVID-19 Modeling

  • A new model has been released on the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon.  The model is based on statewide data in Oregon as well as best assumptions based on what we know about the spread of the virus in other areas, particularly in Washington.
  • You can find a link to the model here: IDM COVID-19 Modeling Oregon

Hospitals and Care Facilities

  • The Oregon Health Authority has submitted an amendment for the Oregon Health Plan that will increase the Medicaid rates for basic nursing facilities for ventilator access.

Emergency Coordination Center

  • The Emergency Response structure has been updated to be more streamlined and tightened up than before.
  • The Governor has requested a Major Disaster Declaration form the federal government which would allow for individual assistance programs that could provide funding for things such as childcare, funeral services, crisis counseling, disaster case management and legal assistance.
  • These programs would have a 25% state cost-share, but there would be a waiver for the federal government to pick up 100% of the cost.
  • The coordination and collection of PPE is one of the biggest logistical operations in the state.  The Emergency Coordination Center website is the main touchpoint for those interested in donating PPE.
  • Staff is following up with all the offers for aid that have been submitted though not all have proven fruitful.
  • County Emergency Managers should be the point of contact for local institutions looking to request PPE from the state.
  • The ECC is in the process of looking at additional facilities that might be used to provide capacity for noncritical care.

Testing and Supplies

  • Requests have been made to the federal government for additional masks, gowns, gloves and ventilators.
  • Oregon has also requested four additional medical stations, which have a 250-bed capacity each similar to the set up at the Oregon Fairgrounds.
  • Starting tomorrow, the numbers being reported on PPE will include a more comprehensive picture, instead of just what is in the OHA cache.
  • PPE is being allocated by a formula where 70% of the total is being automatically sent to counties and tribal governments.
  • Of the PPE distributed to counties, 70% is based on county population and 30% is based on the number of COVID-19 cases in that county.

 

Economic Relief

Federal Response

  • Congress will be looking at passing the Phase 3 Coronavirus Response plan in the next few days. This should direct a fair amount of money to Oregon for addressing Coronavirus.
  • A Phase 4 response plan will be worked on during Congress’ upcoming three-week break.
Insurance Policies
  • The Department of Consumer and Business Services has extended the grace period for health insurance premium payment on all policies in Oregon.  A delay on cancellations and nonrenewals has also been put in place.

SNAP Benefits

  • Oregonians who recieve Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will now be able to purchase groceries online from Walmart and Amazon in order to help abide by social distancing protocols.

 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 

 

March 25, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials.)

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

266

COVID-19 Related Deaths

10

Negative Test

5,476

 

Executive Orders

Order 20-12 Enhanced Social Distancing

  • Link: Executive Order No. 20-12
  • There will be no “Hall Pass” required to drive the highways. 
  • OSP has assured that education is the first resort to enforcing the Order.
  • There are no plans to close the State borders to commerce.
  • Hikers and fishers are encouraged to stay within their own region so as not to overwhelm another.
  • Coastal Orders regarding the limiting of tourists are valid.  The Governor’s Order did not preclude Local Orders.

 

Public Health Response

COVID-19 Modeling

  • New modeling on the spread of COVID-19 under different scenarios will be released to the public tomorrow.
  • With current policies and implementation, the model suggests 1000 active cases by May 8th, which is below healthcare capacity.
  • May 8th is the current possible end date for existing policies based on the modeling, though this is subject to change.

Emergency Coordination Center

Testing and Supplies

  • 1,200 test results came in today, 5% of those tests were positive to COVID-19.
  • Testing up to this point has been slowed by supply chain disruptions varying from testing kits, lab capacity, chemical availability, and specimen collection.
  • OHA has received a new shipment of testing kits today that they are working on distributing.

 

Economic Relief

Federal Response

  • Today’s Senate Emergency response included $2 Trillion in Federal Aide.
  • These include significant State, Local, business and personal relief:
    • $150 Billion to State, Local and Tribal Governments
    • $100 Billion to Healthcare Institutions
    • $500 Billion in loans to various companies and unemployment insurance
    • $1200 per adult and $500 per child
    • $200 Million for nursing homes
    • $45 Billion to FEMA
    • FDA loans in Oregon will see an immediate infusion of money.
  • Multiple Legislators have called for “Navigators” to help people access this money.

Relief for Business

  • The Governors Office in conjunction with the Department of Revenue has made the decision to allow Oregonians to delay the filing of their 2019 taxes till July 15, in line with the delay of the Federal tax filing deadline.
  • However, the payment of quarterly taxes has not been delayed.
  • Gas stations are likely to become self-service in the near future

 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 

March 24, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials as well as the Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response.)

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

209

COVID-19 Related Deaths

8

Negative Test

4,350

 

Executive Orders

Social Distancing

  • Link: Executive Order No. 20-12
  • The Oregon Department of Transportation is reporting that traffic has slowed down, a sign that social distancing protocols are having an impact.
  • Oregon State Police has issued guidance today relating to the enforcement of the Governor’s Executive Order.
  • OSP wants to clarify that while details have been offered on closures and social distancing, Oregon’s movements are generally unrestricted.

Public Health Response

Hospital Coordination

  • The Health Care Systems Response Taskforce’s initial report is in guidance right now.  It will be submitted to the Governor either tonight or tomorrow morning.
  • While there is not a running count of the number of individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, there have been 61 people hospitalized for the virus over the course of the response.

Need for Blood Donations

  • There has been a dramatic drop in blood donations and Oregon is in need.
  • The Red Cross has protocols in place to ensure that donating blood is safe and not a risk for the spread of COVID-19.

Childcare

  • There has been 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Childcare facility in Oregon and that facility has taken steps to close. There are 2 presumed cases in other childcare facilities that are being monitored closely.
  • The Governor’s executive order has effectively closed the larger licensed childcare facilities.
  • There is an opportunity for childcare providers to provide emergency care for a stable group of fewer than 10.  Emergency childcare providers are directed to prioritize services to essential workers such as health care workers or first responders.
  • Applications are on the Early Learning Division’s website for providers to offer emergency childcare.  Facilities who are not going to be offering emergency childcare should be taking steps towards closure.
  • The Early Learning Division is working with the Oregon Department of Education on supporting schools to stand up emergency childcare.
  • Contact 211 for information on available emergency childcare providers in your area.
  • The Early Learning Division is evaluating how many school districts are offering emergency childcare in order to understand what the demand for care will be.

Testing and Supplies

  • Several shipments of PPE from the federal government arrives last night.  It is now being offloading and having an inventory taken.  This is the 15% of Oregon’s request from the Federal government that was promised.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services has promised additional testing supplies to Oregon.

Economic Impacts

Relief for Business

  • Oregon Department of Revenue is making final decisions related to tax filing. Guidance should be out either today or tomorrow.
  • DOR is looking at allowing Oregonians to delay the filing of their 2019 taxes, but not delaying quarterly payments.

 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 

 

March 23, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials as well as the Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response.)

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

191

COVID-19 Related Deaths

5

Negative Test

3,649

 

Executive Orders

Temporary Residential Eviction Moratorium

  • Link: Executive Order No. 20-11
  • The Governor has issued a moratorium on residential evictions for the next 90 days.
  • Work will be continued to be done around housing.  A Similar order for commercial evictions is under consideration.

Expanded Social Distancing

  • Link: Executive Order No. 20-12
  • Non-essential social and recreational gatherings outside of the home are prohibited immediately, regardless of size.
  • While open spaces in parks are still open, playground equipment areas and sport’s courts have been closed.
  • Individuals are to maintain social distancing of at least six feet when outside of their homes.
  • The Governor has ordered and expanded list of businesses to close, including arcades, barbershops/salons, gyms, museums, tattoo and piercing parlors, etc.
  • Liquor stores and cannabis dispensaries will remain open.
  • Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and similar establishments may still operate take-out or delivery service.
  • Subject to approval by the Governor, the Oregon Health Authority has the authority to determine if additional business closures are necessary.

 

Public Health Response

Hospital Coordination

  • We have continued to see a drop off in emergency department utilization rates.
  • The Taskforce on Hospital Capacity approved their final recommendations today, work will now begin on implementing those recommendations.
  • Recommendations largely deal with the development of new bed space and managing current capacity.
  • New bed capacity will include step-down care, hospital diversion, and recovery care outside of hospital settings.
  • The use of fairgrounds, convention centers, blocks of hotel rooms and college dorm rooms are all possible opportunities for alternative bed space.
  • Ambulatory Surgical Center and unlicensed beds in existing hospitals are being looked at for bringing more hospital beds online.
  • A funding package is being looked at for rural hospitals that are facing financial challenges due to the cancellation of elective surgeries. This funding will be provided through existing systems to help these tide these hospitals over.

Emergency Management Command Structure

  • The responsibility for Personal Protective Equipment has transferred over to the Emergency Command Center
  • A webpage has been set up at the ECC where people can submit information on donations for items like personal protective equipment and ventilators.

Testing and Supplies

  • Oregon’s testing capacity has grown rapidly. We are now testing at a rate of 6,000 tests per week.
  • Due to the incubation period of the virus and the delay between the collection of specimen samples and the final test results, the positive cases we are seeing now could have been first contracted as far out as March 2nd. For this reason, we will now know the impact of our social distancing protocols for at least another week or so.
  • An additional 15% of Oregon’s supply request from the federal government should be in any day now.

 

Economic Impacts

Relief for Business

  • The Department of Consumer and Businesses Services is issuing new guidance working with lenders to look at loan forbearance and fee waivers.
  • The PUC is working with utilities in Oregon.  Some utilities have voluntarily agreed to continue services during the crisis.

 

Legislative Action

Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response

  • The Joint Committee on Coronavirus Response met today to discuss potential actions.  You can find a list of the proposed items here: Policy Document Prioritization

 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.


 

March 22, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Reported numbers from the Oregon Health Authority)

 

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

161

COVID-19 Related Deaths

4

Negative Test

2,864

Tests Pending

No Longer Reported

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.


 

March 21, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Reported numbers from the Oregon Health Authority)

 

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

137

COVID-19 Related Deaths

4

Negative Test

2,338

Tests Pending

437

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 

March 20, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials as well as the Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response.)
 

Positive COVID-19 Cases

114

COVID-19 Related Deaths

3

Negative Test

2,003

Tests Pending

433

 

Coronavirus Modeling

  • OHSU and OHA have been working together to develop predictive modeling of COVID-19 related hospitalization.
  • The model does not factor in the social distancing practices already in place.
  • We will not know if current actions have worked to slow the spread of the virus for multiple weeks.
  • Due to the lack of testing, we know more positive COVID-19 cases existed than we knew of when social distancing practices were first implemented.
  • The model assumed that the number of cases of COVID-19 would double every 6.2 days, based on data from other places regarding the spread of the virus.
  • The model also assumed that 20% or 1 in 5 individuals who contract the virus would need some form of hospitalization.  10% of those hospitalized would require intensive care and 70% of those under intensive care would require the use of a ventilator.
  • Typically, 30-40% of ICU patients have required the use of a ventilator.  70-75% of COVID-19 patients in the ICU will require a ventilator.
  • 80% of those who contract COVID-19 should be able to recover at home.
  • COVID-19 has a 14-day average hospitalization.  This extended hospitalization period puts a large strain on hospital capacity.
  • According to the model, Oregon would need 1000 hospital beds and 400 ICU bends on April 16th for COVID-19.
  • The model only goes through April 16th because the state’s need from that point on depends on the actions we take between now and then.
  • The COVID-19 situation changes every day and the model is regularly updated.
  • The actual number of Oregonians projected to contract the disease is not known because broad-based testing is not available and we know there are more cases that are not testable.
  • Early actions are key to getting ahead of the curve of the exponential function.

 

Social Distancing Measures

Local Parks

  • Local officials have all the authority they have always had over the parks and facilities they operate.  If local governments would find it beneficial to take steps such as closing parks, they would be empowered to do so.

Shelter in Place

  • The Governor’s office is not recommending a Shelter in Place order at this time.  They are hopeful that social distancing protocols will be sufficient and are encouraging the public to stay at home and comply with current recommendations.

 

Public Health Response

Hospital Coordination

  • OHSU officials are planning for the worst case.
  • The current situation presents a challenge because most hospitals in Oregon operate at around 95% capacity during normal times.
  • OHSU is encouraging robust social distancing as a toll to slow the spread of the virus and reduce the need for hospital treatment.
  • We have seen a surge in-home care patients who are utilizing telehealth or digital health supports.
  • Telemedicine has ramped up dramatically. At OHSU they conducted 100 video visits in the month prior.  On Monday alone OHSU provided 180 video visits.
  • Operating room ventilators are being repurposed for COVID-19 patients.
  • Elective and non-emergency surgeries are being canceled to prepare for the surge.
  • OHSU officials are concerned that not enough Oregonians are following social distancing protocols and that curfews and shelter in place orders should be considered.
  • Efforts are underway to match idle health care workers to needed jobs within the health care system.
  • According to OHA, decreases in emergency department and urgent care demand have continued as a result of the social distancing measures.
  • The Joint Taskforce on Health Care System Capacity has completed its first round of work.  Over the weekend staff members will turn those suggestions into official requests.

Emergency Management Command Structure

  • The State Command Group is being headed up by Andrew Phelps from the Office of Emergency Management, Mike Harryman the state resilience officer and Dave Baden from the Oregon Health Authority
  • The Oregon State Emergency Coordination Center is operating out of Salem.
  • President Trump has declared an emergency under the Stafford Act, which will allow for the federal reimbursement of Category B emergency protective measures.  These costs are reimbursed at a rate of 75% by the Federal government, but there is the possibility of increasing the level of cost-sharing in the future.
  • These reimbursable measures include staffing for the Emergency Coordination Center and ensuring the movement of supply chains.

Testing and Supplies

  • While widespread testing would be valuable, the critical factor is that we do not have sufficient supplies for widespread testing, including personnel and collection swabs.
  • Personal Protective Equipment is still in short supply.
  • Individuals and businesses in Oregon overwhelmed the original system. The Emergency Coordination Center is working on a more robust structure for a PPE clearinghouse that should be rolled out later today.

 

Economic Impacts

Relief for Business

  • Oregon has received approval for a Small Business Association Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration.  This will cover all 36 counties.
  • Small businesses and nonprofits can seek loans up to 2 million dollars to provide for working capital during this crisis. These are low to zero-interest loans with a maximum term of 30 years for repayment.
  • Some businesses are asking for additional shutdowns of industries so that they may access their business insurance. Many businesses’ policies have exclusions for viral infections. Suspending those provisions would likely bankrupt insurance companies.

 

Legislative Action

Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response

  • The committee met for the second time today to hear testimony from OHSU officials as well as Andrew Phelps, one of the leaders of the State Command Group,  who presented on the organizational chart for dealing with the COVID-19.
  • Committee members review the first half of the suggested actions put forward by the Co-Chairs of the committee.
  • The committee is planned to meet again on Monday, March 23rd at 9:00 am.

 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.


 

March 19, 2020 Coronavirus Update

(Information from today’s briefing with the Governor’s Office and other State Officials)

 

Here are some updates from today’s daily legislative update on Coronavirus as well as some information from the Coronavirus Response committee.

 

Positive COVID-19 Cases​88
COVID-19 Related Deaths​3
Negative Tests​1,329
​Tests Pending​437


 

Social Distancing Measures

State Parks

•    State parks will begin slowly phasing out recreational camping and the use of facilities.

Local Parks

•    Local parks are not closing at this time, but people need to be careful about how they use parks.  Be careful about touching playground equipment and keep social distancing in mind.

Shelter in Place

•    The Governor’s Office does not believe we are at a place where shelter in place is necessary.

•    We are seeing results from current social distancing policies and the benefit of issuing a shelter in place order does not outweigh the economic damages it would do at this time.

 

Public Health Response

Hospital Coordination

•    Oregon Medical Station has been set up as a 250-bed step-down facility in Salem.

•    Emergency department are visits tailing off as a result of current social distancing practices.

Emergency Management Command Structure

•    Andrew Phelps from the Office of Emergency Management will be presenting tomorrow on the Emergency Management structure in place. He will also be touching on when and how the National Guard may be activated to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Testing and Supplies

•    OHA is looking at COVID-19 cases by symptom onset date in order to have more accurate data on the spread of the disease.

•    OHA is addressing the shortage of test specimen collection material.  The WHO has come out with new standards recently that should help.

•    Mobile testing is taking place in different parts of the state including in Linn County and Multnomah County.

 

Economic Impacts

Relief of Business

•    Oregon’s application to the Small Business Association went in yesterday.  The Governor is working with our Congressional delegation to push the application through. Approval is expected early next week.

•    New Rules will be issued today or tomorrow that would allow the curbside delivery of growlers at breweries.

Unemployment Insurance and Workers Comp

•    The Employment Department has finalized temporary rules around expanded qualifications for unemployment insurance.  The Governor's office will be sending out more information on these rules.

•    Oregon cannot extend UI benefits to sole proprietors or the self-employed because that would disqualify Oregon from getting the federal reimbursement for unemployment insurance.


 

For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.