Regional COVID-19 updates: Oregon death toll now stands at 55

Coronavirus

Updates for Tuesday, April 14, 2020 for Oregon and SW Washington

This story will be updated throughout the day

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Here is the latest information from April 14, 2020, in Oregon and Southwest Washington in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:

Oregon deaths now stand at 55

Fifty more patients tested positive for the coronavirus and 2 more people died in the Tuesday update from the Oregon Health Authority.

Of the 50 new confirmed cases, 22 are in Multnomah County, with the other 28 split between 11 other counties.

The two people that died lived in Multnomah and Benton counties and both had underlying medical conditions. A 71-year-old man died at Legacy Mount Hood on April 12, while an 88-year-old woman died April 13 at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.

Overall, 1633 patients in Oregon have tested positive, with 55 deaths.

Washington death toll climbs to 541

As of Monday night, 541 people had died from COVID-19 and there were 10,694 cases of coronavirus in the state of Washington, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

There are 250 cases and 15 deaths in Clark County and 26 cases in Cowlitz County (and no deaths there).

Federal aid for Oregon airports

Oregon’s airports will receive $140.16 million in stimulus funds as part of the $10 billion of airport relief provided as part of the CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday. PDX expects to receive about $72 million of the state’s total, according to the Port of Portland.

The funds will help replace lost revenues and also go toward maintenance and operations costs at PDX. The Port of Portland said PDX has seen revenue declines of more than 50% in parking transactions, fees and rent payments.

TriMet gets masks, adds safety shields

Though TriMet has cut back on their schedules, they are still operating every day. They’ve gotten 10,000 disposable masks for their frontline staff, including operators, and they’ve been gifted some re-usable, washable cloth masks. They’ve also contracted with events planner Cindy Thompson, whose team is making another 2000 coverings for their essential workers.

They’re also quickly adding operator safety panels on the more popular bus lines, such as Line 72, to protect the driver from people coughing and sneezing.

Overall, TriMet ridership during the week of April 5 was down 68% from their February average.

TriMet operators deliver Meals on Wheels

Seven members from the TriMet on-street customer service team are now helping deliver food to Meals on Wheels clients, which helps both organizations. The need for food has surged in the area during the pandemic. And this connection keeps those 7 people working during this crisis.

MCSO employee tests positive

An employee at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office has tested positive for COVID-19, the office announced on Tuesday.

MCSO said that once he learned of the positive test, Sheriff Mike Reese told all other staff and partners. However, the employee who tested positive has reportedly been absent from work for an extended period of time so they believe the risk of transmission to be low. Citing public health officials, MCSO says no further action is needed on their part.

“This continues to be a very difficult time, and I deeply appreciate everyone’s concern for our employee,” Sheriff Reese said. “We will continue to follow the guidance given by public health officials to protect our staff, adults in our custody and our community.”

Health care leaders launch ‘Be Prepared: Take Control’

A coalition of national and state health care leaders launched a public health awareness campaign Tuesday, urging people to talk with their families about their health care wishes and to designate a medical decision maker.

The coalition, led by the PREPARE for Your Care program, released a set of guidelines to help the many Americans who have never had to make life-or-death medical decisions unexpectedly.

Click the graphic for the full set of guidelines

Oregon airports receive over $140M for COVID-19 response

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it will award about $140.2 million to 55 airports in Oregon for COVID-19 aid.

Portland International Airport is set to receive $72 million of the total allotment.

FAA officials said the funding will support continuing operations and replace lost revenue resulting from the drastic decline in travel. The funds are available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments.

View a list of Oregon airports receiving funding on an interactive map, along with funding for all U.S. airports on FAA’s website.

Local active wear company donates 10,000 masks to Providence

DHVANI, a Portland-based active wear company, donated thousands of masks to Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. The company donated 10,000 surgical-grade masks in order to help Providence’s transition to universal masking for caregivers. According to Providence, the medical center goes through about 1,500 masks each day.

Avi Brown, CEO and co-founder DHVANI, said this is a personal issue to the company.

“I have a good friend who is an emergency room doctor at this very hospital. My co-founder and chief operating officer, his mom is a registered nurse at Elmhurst Hospital in New York City, the epicenter of this pandemic,” said Brown. “So getting protective equipment to the folks on the front lines is of paramount importance to all of us.”

Portland Fire & Rescue’s Meds on Wheels Program

Portland Fire and Rescue held a press conference on Tuesday to launch their new “Meds on Wheels” program.

The program is aimed at helping the community’s most vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic. The outreach program offers prescription pick-up and delivery for residents 65 and older.

The fire department is working in partnership with Multnomah County Aging, Disability and Veterans Services for the “Meds on Wheels” program, which will run from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on weekdays.

For more information, call their referral number: (971) 288-7687

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

Updates from April 13, 2020

Oregon death toll rises to 53

Oregon health authorities announced one new COVID-19 death Monday morning, bringing the state’s total toll to 53.

Monday’s announced death was of a 66-year-old Washington County woman, who tested positive on March 30. She died on Sunday at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center; authorities report the unidentified woman had underlying medical conditions.

Meanwhile, 57 new cases of the novel coronavirus were also reported by 8 a.m., Oregon Health Authority announced, bringing the state’s total to 1,584.

The cases were reported in Clackamas, Columbia, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Marion, Multnomah and Washington counties.

Washington death toll rises to 516

The Department of Health for the state of Washington reported on Monday that a total of 10,538 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. The virus has claimed the lives of 516 people in the state.

Of the reported deaths, 15 were Clark County residents. Cowlitz County has not yet reported a death related to COVID-19.

Hillsboro PD employees test positive for virus

Three people who work for the Hillsboro Police Department have tested postitive for the coronavirus, the law enforcement agency disclosed on Monday. Officials did not specify if those three people were police officers or if they worked for the department in another capacity.

Those three employees are now self-quarantined in their homes, according to HPD.

“The employees were wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while working with the community and are not thought to have had significant direct contact with community members. Police Department staff remain mindful in wearing PPE while at work.”

OSHA begins COVID-19 “spot checks”

Oregon OSHA is going to start “systematically conducting spot checks” to ensure that employers who are still conducting business are doing so in accordance with social distancing orders handed down from Governor Kate Brown.

Late last month, KOIN 6 News reported on the high volume of complaints the state OSHA agency had received in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. OSHA is now following up on those complaints, and said they are focusing “enforcement activity on more recent complaints, and on those that provide specific allegations, as well as include contact information for the complainant.”

According to OSHA, the agency has conducted roughly a dozen on-site inspections and is working to ramp up that process to address the volume of complaints received.

National Guard delivers PPE to every Oregon county

On Monday, the Oregon Army National Guard delivered personal protective equipment to all 36 counties, as well as to nine Tribal Nations, and two Tribal Health Agencies, according to the state office of Emergency Management.

The PPE first arrived at a central storage facility in Wilsonville “as part of a larger shipment from the federal government.” That shipment from USAID arrived in the state on Friday, April 10. The inventory was completed over the weekend.

Oregon National Guard Soldiers receive and inventory a shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) sent by USAID from Dubai, April 10, 2020. Once inventoried, the PPE will be distributed across the counties and tribes of Oregon. (National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Holden, Oregon Military Department)

Kate Brown thanks front line heroes

In a video posted on her YouTube page, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown thanked health care workers and said these medical professionals on the front lines are heroes.

“Under normal circumstances, the work you do is vitally important, and now under these extraordinary circumstances your work is more important than ever,” Brown said. “Thank you.”

She also thanked the people of Oregon for doing their part to stay home and practice social distancing.

State gives $8 million to Oregon Food Bank

As more people are relying on food assistance during the pandemic, the state of Oregon is stepping up to help the Oregon Food Bank.

Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday the state will provide $8 million to the Oregon Food Bank and will pay weekly over the next 8 weeks. Brown’s office announced they expect to get 75% of the money reimbursed from FEMA.

The Oregon Food Bank Network includes 21 regional food banks and more than 1,400 food assistance sites around the state. They’ve all seen an increase in food need since the pandemic began.

Food pantries ‘figuring out how people get fed’ in pandemic
Teamwork: Clackamas agencies partner to reach seniors

Oregon Symphony cancels rest of season

The Oregon Symphony canceled the rest of their current season through June 8, 2020, but plans to return in September for the 2020/2021 season.

They’re also holding a virtual fundraising gala at 7 p.m. on April 19. Their weekly Minute For Music series featuring videos by musicians from the symphony will be available on their website, Facebook and Instagram pages.

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