This story will be updated throughout the day
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Here is the latest information from April 10, 2020, in Oregon and Southwest Washington in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:
The coronavirus has claimed four more lives in Oregon: a 74-year-old man, an 81-year-old man, a 69-year-old man and an 83-year-old man—all of whom lived in Multnomah County and had underlying medical conditions, the Oregon Health Authority said Friday. Oregon’s death toll has reached 48.
There are a total of 1,371 cases in the state. OHA said a previously reported Yamhill County case was reclassified after additional lab tests so the total number of new cases since Thursday is 51. The cases are in the following counties: Clackamas (7), Clatsop (1), Deschutes (1), Hood River (1), Josephine (1), Klamath (4), Lane (1), Marion (11), Multnomah (15), and Washington (9).
The number of coronavirus cases in the state of Washington neared 10,000 on Friday. The state’s Department of Health declared a total of 9,887 cases, and said 475 people have died from the virus.
Of those listed cases and deaths, Clark County has 220 documented cases and 14 deaths. Cowlitz County has documented 23 cases, but zero deaths in the county have been attributed to the coronavirus.
Cluster of COVID-19 deaths at Oregon nursing home
Late Friday, KOIN 6 News learned about a cluster of coronavirus deaths at the Healthcare at Foster Creek nursing home facility in Southeast Portland. Ten residents at the facility have died from the virus, making it the largest cluster of deaths from COVID-19 in Oregon.
The news was released by the Oregon Department of Human Services. Six staff members at the facility have also tested positive.
Five of Oregon’s total death count are from Laurel Hurst Village, where 29 staff members have tested positive for the virus.
These are just two of the 26 care facilities that OHA said have had either a resident or a staff member test positive.
Self-service at Oregon gas stations
Drivers can continue pumping their own fuel at Oregon gas stations through April 25, according to the Office of State Fire Marshal. Self-service is voluntary to help with the shortage of workers at gas stations across the state.
USAID brings PPE to Oregon
On Friday, the United States Agency for International Development brought 78 pallets of personal protective equipment to the state of Oregon. This shipment included the critically-needed N95 masks, as well as face shields, scrubs, gloves, and other crucial goods required to protect first responders and medical professionals.
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management gave approximations of the PPE totals, and said that an exact inventory will be taken before the equipment is distributed: 150,000 N95 masks, 2,500 scrubs pants, 2,000 scrubs tops, 250 coveralls, and nearly 67,000 face shields.
The protective equipment will be shipped out to Oregon’s counties “based on population and number of active cases of COVID-19.” From there, county officials will distribute the gear to first responders and medical workers.
Internet access brought to families of PPS
The Fund for Portland Public Schools and Comcast’s Oregon/SW Washington region has announced a business partnership to give internet access to any PPS family in need for free. The Fund will cover internet costs for 2,000 families for up to six months, according to a PPS release.
The Fund will also continue to take donations so that any PPS student who needs it can access the internet while distance learning is required.
PPB will wear PPE during pandemic
PPB Chief Jami Resch said all members of the bureau who are physically at work to wear some form of personal protective equipment — a cloth covering, surgical masks or respirators, depending on the circumstance.
Everyone at PPB will be required to wear them in precincts, bureau buildings and cars with more than one person inside. And when putting someone under arrest, officers are required to wear gloves and one of the facial options.
“Now that the recommendations have shifted in regard to face coverings, we need to ensure our members who cannot physically distance themselves have the protective gear they need to do their jobs,” the chief said in a statement. “We must also keep ourselves safe as we continue to protect and serve our city.”
Woodland schools receive food donation as ‘thank you’
A long-haul trucker has donated enough food to provide Woodland-area school kids with more than 1,000 meals, according to the school district on Friday.
Since Washington schools have closed for the rest of the school year, the Woodland High School campus has been repurposed into a 24-hour truck stop for long-haul drivers. At the high school, long-haul truckers can park in the school lot, have access to showers, and can rest and recover from the drive.
When a client refused a delivery of frozen breakfast sandwiches, rather than let the food go to waste, driver Russell Thomas brought them to the Woodland School District. He brought the 52 cases of frozen sandwiches to the middle school where daily meals are prepped for students.
“I’m just so grateful to the district for helping truckers,” he said. “I wanted to help Woodland’s students and community.”
School officials said there were enough breakfast sandwiches to “supply more than 1,000 meals for the community’s children.”
Beaverton School District’s meal program
The Beaverton School District has extended its free breakfast and lunch program for students through June 12. Food will be handed out “grab-and-go” style. The school district has created an interactive map for residents to find where they can pick up meals.
Salem-Keizer schools cancel parade due to COVID concerns
No one wants to rain on a parade, but Lillian Govus with the Salem-Keizer School District says they had to.
Teachers were going to have a parade by driving through their student’s neighborhood as a way to connect — but the district announced on Facebook they are calling it off for social distancing safety.
“What we heard from our medical professionals was this really goes against our hope that people will stay home and save lives,” said Govus.
Disappointed with this decision, many parents took to the comments section to their frustrations. However, health officials were relieved.
“After we canceled those parades we heard from our hospital officials who said thank you,” said Govus.
According to public health officials Marion County has the highest per capita infection and death rate of COVID-19. Govus said this is tough on everyone.
“On one hand you have a community that desperately needs to connect,” she said. “And on the other hand, we have a medical community that’s saying ‘we really need you to take Governor Brown’s executive order seriously.'”
Salem-Keizer School District says although they can’t continue to have these parades, they’re looking for more ways to help their teachers connect with students — digitally.
Clark County extends property tax due date
Clark County Treasurer Alishia Topper announced the extension of the property tax due date for individual residential and commercial taxpayers to June 3, 2020. This extension applies to both real property taxes for buildings and structures, as well as personal property taxes.
This extension is in addition to Clark County’s relief program for businesses impacted by the closures due to COVID-19, along with the due date extension for business personal property taxes.
Although there will not be any penalties for not paying by the original April 30 deadline, Topper is encouraging taxpayers who are able to pay do so by April 30 or soon after.
“The widespread economic impact of the coronavirus is evident and has financially impacted many Clark County property owners,” said Topper. “This extension will hopefully provide short-term relief during this difficult time.”
Portland Public Schools pause Chromebook distribution
Portland Public Schools has cancelled their plans to hand out Chromebooks at some schools Friday.
The district says the demand for the laptops has been overwhelming, and the number of computers on hand is too low.
PPS says they will work through the weekend to collect, clean and sanitize Chromebooks from various schools. They plan to resume distributing the laptops on Monday.
Updates from April 9, 2020
Emergency SNAP benefits
Oregon will provide an additional $60 million in extra SNAP benefits during the months of April and May, according to the Oregon Department of Human Services. Households eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will automatically receive the additional allotment in the same way they normally receive benefits.
Long line of cars, people at Franklin High
Cars were lined up for several blocks at roads feeding into Franklin High School shortly before noon Thursday some to get their Chromebooks, some to get their free lunch. A line of people — some entire families together — looked to be in a waiting line more than an hour long.
At least 5 PPB vehicles were in the area to help direct the flow.
Economists discuss local revenue impact
Oregon economists are looking at the data to see how the pandemic is impacting local funds and revenue.
They’ve found COVID-19 is hitting low wage jobs the hardest, mostly because of the mandated closures of restaurants, bars, retail and hotels. But, local economists are now seeing Oregon manufacturers laying off employees — not because they’re mandated to, but because their supply chains are disrupted.
Economists say Oregon’s unemployment rate has reached 9%, which puts a serious strain on the unemployment insurance funds.