Regional COVID-19 updates: Marion County man, 45, dies


Regional coronavirus updates for April 20, 2020 for Oregon and SW Washington

This story will be updated throughout the day

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Here is the latest information from April 20, 2020, in Oregon and Southwest Washington in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:

Monday tally: 1 new death, 47 more cases in Oregon

Oregon state health officials reported Monday one new death and 47 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed. That brings the overall totals to 75 deaths and 1956 cases.

Of those 1956 cases, a total of 1385 were in people older than 40.

But the latest reported death was a 45-year-old man in Marion County who had underlying medical conditions. He tested positive on April 14 and died April 18, authorities said.

Marion County had the most confirmed cases in this latest report, with 13. Clackamas had 10, Washington 9, Multnomah 6, Linn 2 and Benton, Douglas, Klamath, Lincoln, Polk, Umatilla and Yamhill each had one case.

Gov. Brown forming draft plan to reopen economy

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Under a draft plan, the Oregon governor’s office is circulating its own version of a three-phase plan to lift restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, including allowing childcare facilities to reopen in phase one and possibly restaurants.

The Trump administration plan says there first needs to be downward trajectories, during a 14-day period, of influenza-like illnesses, COVID-19-like cases, of documented cases or of positive tests as a percent of total tests, as well as “robust testing and contact tracing.”

Oregon, however, has some counties where there no or few COVID-19 cases.  The draft says Oregon will likely use modified metrics, especially for rural counties who have small numbers. 

KOIN helps raise $68,500 for Sunshine Division

For nearly 100 years, Sunshine Division has been providing emergency food assistance for people in need, and now, that need is greater than ever.

To keep everyone safe, Sunshine Division must buy most of the food they provide. Portland police are helping out by delivering 1000 Sunshine food boxes each week to the homes of local families and individuals in need so they can stay home and stay safe, with the goal of delivering approximately 300,000 meals by mid-June.

Last Friday, KOIN 6 News joined the Sunshine Division in responding to and working to solve the hunger crisis in our community through secure online donations.

In that one day, KOIN viewers donated $68,500 to Sunshine Division. That’s a good start, but the need continues.

You can continue to donate directly to the Sunshine Division or go to your local Portland metro Safeway and Albertson’s to donate there.

Hillsboro Community Foundation distributes $175,000 in relief grants

After sizable donations from the City of Hillsboro and the Intel Foundation, the Hillsboro Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund has given a total of $175,000 in grants to local nonprofit service providers.

The grants were given to eight different community partners, including Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Western Farm Workers, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Bienestar, Community Action, and the Family Justice Center of Washington County.

The fund gives 100% of every dollar donated to groups providing assistance for Hillsboro residents. The Foundation said more relief is coming, as well.

“This is a time for us to come together to help those in great need in Hillsboro,” said Deanna Palm, Hillsboro Community Foundation President. “We are grateful to the Intel Foundation and the City of Hillsboro for their leadership and support, and to all who have made contributions. It is our shared hope that this generosity will motivate others to contribute.”

Two new deaths bring Oregon total to 74

COVID-19 has taken the lives of two more Oregonians, according to data provided by the Oregon Health Authority Sunday.

The two new reported deaths bring the state’s death toll to 74. Overall, the number of cases confirmed in Oregon stands at 1910.

Unemployment ‘re-start claim’ issue resurfaced again Sunday

The restart claim issue that occurred last weekend for Oregonians filing for unemployment briefly resurfaced again Sunday.

The issue was fixed by late morning. The State of Oregon’s Employment Department said roughly 100,000 people successfully filed initial or weekly claims Sunday.

“That record level of online claim processing, paired with other weekend system maintenance, is what caused the re-start claim issue we saw last weekend to happen again,” a spokesperson for the agency said. “We care about everyone’s ability to successfully process their claims, and continue working hard to improve our systems, while also getting new benefit programs up and running.”

Washington recalls 12,000 COVID-19 test kits due to possible contamination

Health officials at the University of Washington ordered the Washington State Department of Health to discontinue the use of a recently-procured batch of coronavirus collection kits. They said there is a potential quality control issue.

“Though the quality control issue has only been observed in a small number of tubes of viral transport media, we adhere to the highest quality standards for COVID-19 testing in Washington state,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman in a release Sunday. “We are working with our partners to have them discard the product and will work to replace them as quickly as we can.”

Viral transport media (VTM) is the fluid that preserves a specimen during transport, such as one collected via nasal swab from a person being tested for COVID-19.

No other supplies previously used for testing are impacted by this recall. Jurisdictions who received these kits are encouraged to contact DOH for a new shipment of swabs and VTM transport tubes for replacement. 

‘Work Zone Awareness Week’ begins with COVID-19 changes

Three regional agencies have launched the 2020 National Work Zone Awareness Week — a public reminder to keep ample distance from crew members who are active in a work zone.

The annual admonition from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the Portland Water Bureau and the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) has been updated this year, adapting to the COVID-19 health crisis.

The bureaus outlined the following safety steps to practice: 

  • Keep your distance. For the health and safety for everyone, please give our crews the space to complete their work while maintaining proper distance. We understand that as people are spending time at home, they are curious about what we’re doing in their neighborhoods. We have a few videos about the essential work that continues through the pandemic.  
  • SLOW DOWN.  Speed is a major factor in crashes. If you must drive, follow the speed limit. Portland Police are still enforcing traffic laws to keep Portlanders safe. 
  • Use an alternate route. When you can, avoid streets with posted work zones. 
  • Obey all speed and warning signs. Work zone signs are for anyone traveling through – whether the person is walking, biking, rolling or driving. They are there for your safety and will help prevent a collision.? 
  • Be alert. Put down your phone and pay attention to the road conditions ahead of you. 
  • Carefully move over. When possible give workers more room between them and your vehicle, but do not veer into an oncoming traffic lane. 
  • Keep your distance. Rear-end crashes are extremely common in work zones – maintain extra space between you and the person in front of you at all times. 
  • Stay clear of construction vehicles. Heavy vehicles travel in and out of the work areas and can make sudden moves. We know it’s interesting to see our machines at work, but please keep a safe distance from the work zone if you plan to watch. 
  • Expect delays and be kind. Our goal is to get you through our work zone safely, while also completing our street improvements in an efficient manner. We appreciate your understanding. 

This article was written with contributions from the Associated Press.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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