Regional COVID-19 updates: 3 OR deaths, Clark Co. anticipates spike


Updates for Oregon, SW Washington for March 24, 2020

This story will be updated throughout the day.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Here is the latest information from March 24, 2020 in Oregon and Southwest Washington in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:

OHA confirms three deaths, new cases

The Oregon Health Authority said Tuesday the COVID-19 virus has claimed three more lives in Oregon, bringing the state’s death toll to eight.

Additionally, 18 new cases in Oregon have been confirmed by OHA putting the state’s total at 209. The COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday are in the following counties: Clackamas (3), Clatsop (1), Jackson (1), Marion (2), Multnomah (4), and Washington (7).

People in their 40s get coronavirus

Clark County reported three new cases of coronavirus Tuesday, all from people in their 40s. Two women are recovering at home but a man is hospitalized.

Officials also announced they won’t issue daily releases anymore with updated case counts because of “he anticipated ongoing increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths.” All information will now be available on the Public Health novel coronavirus website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Washington State Parks

All state-managed parks, wildlife areas and water access areas in Washington will be temporarily closed for at least two weeks starting March 25 in response to Gov. Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Entrance gates and facilities will be closed and on-site public services will be suspended. Some essential staff members will be present to preserve and protect resources. Camping on state-managed recreation lands will remain closed through April 30.

Pioneer Place Mall boarded up

Workers were seen boarding up the windows at Pioneer Place Mall in the heart of downtown Portland on Tuesday.

Workers boarded up the windows at Pioneer Place Mall in the heart of downtown Portland during the pandemic, March 24, 2020 (KOIN)

Crater Lake National Park shuts down

Oregon’s only national park is shutting down amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response. The National Park Service announced Crater Lake National Park is closed to all visitors for the foreseeable future as of Tuesday to follow Gov. Kate Brown’s “stay at home” executive order. The only access to the park will Oregon State Highway 62 at the park’s southern end for traveling.

KOIN Complete Coverage: Coronavirus Pandemic

Philanthropist donates $2M to Providence

Nancy Lematta, who was a long-time board member of the Providence Portland Medical Foundation, donated $2 million to Providence to help fight COVID-19.

Portland philanthropist Nancy Lematta, March 24, 2020 (Providence Medical Center Foundation)

The 82-year-old philanthropist also issued a challenge to others in the community to match her donation. The money will be used to get hospital supplies, equipment and fund research in the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, part of Providence Cancer Institute.

“I am very fortunate, I have the ability to give money,” she said in a statement. “I’m happy to be able to do that and I hope it can make a difference.”

Those who want to donate can do so online: Providence Foundations/COVID-19

Portland Marathon remains on at this time

Organizers for the Portland Marathon said the event remains on as scheduled for Oct. 4, 2020 — at this time.

“At this time, all events associated with the Portland Marathon are scheduled to take place as planned. In the extremely unlikely event that current health concerns continue into October, we will take extraordinary measures to ensure a safe environment for the race,” officials said in a release.

There are transfer-withdrawal-deferral policies already in place. Runners are encouraged to register soon and save $15 by registering before March 31.

Vancouver closes parks

All active recreation areas in Vancouver city parks are closed and will stay closed through April 30.

Also, the Columbia River and Esther Short Park water features are turned off through April 30. All the structures are also closed at this time.

Vancouver coronavirus updates

‘Stay at home’ order from Gov. Brown

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued Executive Order 20-12, which significantly tightens social distancing guidelines.

The order directs everyone in Oregon to stay at home to the maximum extent possible. It also adds a batch of new businesses that must temporarily close to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Brown issued a statement Monday that said her decision to execute the order was fueled by the crowds that formed over the weekend.

Oregon’s new reality: What’s not open, what’s essential

The governor’s order prohibits these businesses from operating at this time:

  • Amusement parks, aquariums, arcades, art galleries (without appointment), barber shops and hair salons, bowling alleys, cosmetic stores, dance studios, esthetician practices, fraternal organizations facilities, furniture stores, gyms and fitness studios (including climbing gyms), hookah bars, indoor and outdoor malls (i.e., all portions of a retail complex containg stores and restaurants in a single area), indoor party places (including jumping gyms and laser tag), jewelry shop and boutiques (unless it’s exclusively pick-up or delivery), medical spas, facial spas, day spas and non-medical massage therapy, museums, nail and tanning salons, non-tribal card rooms, skating rinks, senior activity centers, ski resorts, social and private clubs, tattoo/piercing parlors, tennis clubs, theaters, yoga studios, youth clubs.

These are all in addition to her earlier executive order closing restaurants, bars, taverns, brewpubs, coffee shops, cafes and donut shops for any in-site consumption; however, pick-up and delivery are still allowed.

TriMet continues operations

TriMet is asking for its riders to only use transit unless absolutely necessary under Governor Brown’s new order to stay home. Buses and trains will continue to operate as usual for essential workers such as medical staff, first responses, and others specified under the order. Those who rely on transit are asked to maintain a 6-foot distance from each other.

Updates from March 23, 2020

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