This story will be updated throughout the day
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Here is the latest information from March 25, 2020 in Oregon and Southwest Washington in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:
Oregon reports 2 new COVID-19 deaths, 57 new cases
Two more people have died in Oregon from COVID-19, bringing the overall total in the state to 10. An 80-year-old woman in Clackamas County died Tuesday and a 73-year-old Marion County woman died Monday. Both women had underlying medical conditions and died one day after testing positive for the coronavirus.
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, another 57 confirmed cases were reported by the Oregon Health Authority in 12 different counties. Of these, 11 were in Marion County.
OHA updates their website with new information once per day.
The Postal Service confirmed an employee at the Portland Processing and Distribution Center tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement, the agency said:
U.S. Postal Service
The Processing plant is a highly mechanized facility and there is very little employee interaction with the mail. In addition, both the CDC and the World Health Organization as well as the U.S. Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through the mail and packages. We have been following the guidance of the local health department and CDC. We believe the risk is low for employees who work at the [name of facility], but we will keep our employees apprised as new information and guidance becomes available.
Privacy laws prevent the Postal Service from releasing the identity of the infected worker.
Clark County has four new confirmed cases, including a woman in her 20s. The woman reportedly had close contact with another confirmed case. Another new case is a woman in her 50s who also had close contact with a confirmed case. The other patients include a woman in her 40s and a woman in her 90s, neither had any known contact with a confirmed case. All patients are recovering in their homes.
These four new cases bring Clark County’s total up to 20. Four of those have resulted in death.
Lane County Public Health confirmed the county’s fifth COVID-19 case on Wednesday. The patient is a woman in her 40s that lives in the Eugene/Springfield area. She is currently at home and in stable condition.
The total number of tests conducted in Lane County has now reached 222. One death has been confirmed.
Election funding in COVID-19 package
After the Senate passed a $2 trillion emergency package related to COVID-19 that included funding for elections, Senators Ron Wyden and Amy Klobuchar issued this statement:
“In times of crisis, the American people cannot be forced to choose between their health and exercising their right to vote. While this funding is a step in the right direction, we must enact election reforms across the country as well as secure more resources to guarantee safe and secure elections. We will continue to fight to pass the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020 to ensure every eligible American can safely and lawfully cast their ballot.”
A conversation with KOIN Digital Reporter Hannah Ray Lambert about the dangers of isolation for the elderly, staying in touch without touching and how you can help senior citizens bear the especially brutal brunt of being alone.
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.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife suspended all recreational fishing in Washington starting March 25. The closure will last at least until 5 p.m. on April 28.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife decided to follow Washington’s example by closing recreational salmon and steelhead fishing in the Columbia River starting March 26 at 11:59 p.m.
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.
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
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.
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.