Regional COVID-19 updates: Oregon overall death toll rises to 70


Updates for Friday, April 17, 2020 for Oregon and SW Washington

This story will be updated throughout the day

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Here is the latest information from April 17, 2020, in Oregon and Southwest Washington in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:

Oregon approaches 1800 cases of COVID-19

Six more people died from COVID-19 in Oregon while another 49 tested positive, Oregon health officials said Friday.

The new cases of the coronavirus break down into the following Oregon counties: Clackamas (3), Deschutes (2), Jackson (1), Lane (1), Linn (3), Marion (8), Multnomah (19), Polk (1), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (1), Washington (7), and Yamhill (2).

The 65th person in Oregon who died from the coronavirus was an 88-year-old Clackamas County woman. According to the OHA, she tested positive for the virus on April 15 and died April 16 at Adventist Medical Center. 

Two Linn County men died after they were diagnosed with the virus earlier this month. Two women in Marion County also succumbed to the coronavirus — one passed at the Salem Hospital and the other died at her home. The OHA reported the state’s 70th death was a woman in Multnomah County who died on April 11 at Adventist Medical Center. 

Of the six deaths OHA reported on Friday, every patient had underlying medical conditions.

The six deaths bring the statewide total to 70, while the official number of confirmed cases is 1785. Overall, 36,321 people have been tested for the coronavirus.

1 new death in Clark County

In Clark County, the death toll has reached 16 with 277 cases. Cowlitz County has reported 29 cases.

As of Thursday night, Washington’s Department of Health had reported a total of 11,445 COVID-19 cases and 603 deaths.

TEDxPortland Year 10 event pushed to 2021

TedxPortland announced on Friday that their “Year 10: AUDACIOUS” event has been rescheduled due to the pandemic. The event was originally scheduled to be held at the Moda Center on June 6, 2020. It has now been pushed back nearly a full year to May 29, 2021.

They announced the decision on their website, with a statement saying in part, “Although we will have to wait a little longer than expected to come together, we wanted to ensure that we give the community time to adjust and look forward to us all connecting and celebrating a decade + of TEDxPortland.”

Tickets already purchased will still be honored for the 2021 event. No refunds are available at this time, but TEDx said “Ticketmaster and event organizers are constantly assessing the situation and making determinations regarding refunds.”

Chemekata Community College offers online classes to high school seniors

Chemeketa Community College is now offering high school seniors free college classes.

High school seniors in good academic standing who have met graduation requirements and live in the Chemeketa service district qualify for this free program. Full criteria includes:

  • Students must be seniors who have met high school graduation requirements.
  • Students must be in good academic standing.
  • Students must have access to a computer/laptop and Wi-Fi.
  • Students are limited to one five-week course for spring term.
    • Some students may elect to enroll in an additional two-credit FYE (First Year Experience) course if planning to attend Chemeketa after high school graduation.

It’s a set of 15 different general education courses with tuition, fees, and textbooks all covered. These college credits are transferable to any public secondary school in Oregon.

The courses begin may fourth. ​

Relief on the way for Tigard residents impacted by coronavirus

The Tigard City Council launched a Resident Aid Fund of Tigard (RAFT) earlier in the month to bring relief to non-profits, faith organizations and other agencies or service districts. The city said the funding will be flexible, as they know residents have a variety of needs during this unprecedented time. The maximum grant award is $25,000 out of the $100,000 fund.

Types of support include:

  • Rent, utility, food, and transportation assistance 
  • Shelter services 
  • Social benefits such as SNAP, unemployment 
  • Senior services and medical transport 
  • Childcare

Applications will be available beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday and will be open until 5 p.m. April 24. 

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

Updates from April 15, 2020

Six more COVID-19 deaths reported in Oregon

Oregon health officials announced six more coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, raising the statewide death toll to 64.

Four of the six deaths announced on Thursday were all men who lived in Multnomah County, ranging from the ages of 56 to 84, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Oregon’s 63rd and 64th deaths were a 74-year-old Benton County woman and a 92-year-old Marion County man, respectively.

They all reportedly had underlying medical issues.

Meanwhile, state health officials also reported 73 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total of positive cases to 1,736. Multnomah County reported the majority of new cases Thursday, with 18, but it was closely followed by 15 new cases reported in Marion County and 12 new cases in Washington County.

Washington death toll reaches 583

The Washington State Department of Health reported 11,152 cases and 583 deaths as of Wednesday night. Clark County reported 265 cases and 15 deaths by Thursday. There are 26 cases in Cowlitz County.

‘This is what art can do’

A Portland artist is working to brighten up boarded-up storefronts on Southeast Foster Road. Travis Wheeler told KOIN 6 News he wanted to help his community by making boarded-up storefronts less scary and more positive.

“This is a time when artists need to be out helping,” he said. “Everyone should do whatever they can and this is what art can do.”

Oaks Amusement Park offers discount

Oaks Park is offering 25% off Ultimate and Deluxe Ride Bracelets with coupon code “FUN4LATER” and a 20% bonus on any gift card purchase. The park is currently closed.

At least 14 Portland nursing facility resident deaths attributed to virus

Oregon health officials announced on Thursday they had recently learned at least 14 deaths of residents at a Southeast Portland nursing facility “could ultimately be attributed” to the novel coronavirus.

Staffers at the Healthcare at Foster Creek facility were also observed not following proper CDC protocol for long-term care facilities, including washing hands, properly using personal protective equipment and maintaining social distancing measures while on breaks.

The Foster Creek facility, which has seen a total of 50 COVID-19 cases, now faces additional measures as a result of these violations, according to the Oregon Department of Human Services.

Brown issues order to include public in government’s essential business decisions

Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order on Thursday that directs state and local governments to take the necessary actions to ensure the public can participate in decision-making to preserve essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order also directs that whenever possible, state and local government must hold public meetings and hearings by telephone or via other electronic channels. If it is necessary to hold in-person meetings, governments must use social distancing measures to ensure the public can still safely participate.

“Public participation in government decision-making is fundamental to our representative form of government,” said Brown. “While the COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we live, work, and operate, we still must ensure that every voice is heard by elected officials and other policymakers and that the critical functions of local government can continue unimpeded.”

OR unemployment payments quadruple as claims continue to rise

Over the week of April 5-11, the Oregon Employment Department quadrupled the number of payments made to those who have filed for unemployment benefits.

The total number of claims filed for the week of April decreased by 46,900 from the previous week. With 53,800 claims filed for the week, the total number of claims has risen to 296,800 for the last month. From March 29 to April 4, the Employment Department paid $23 million in benefits. For the week of April 5, that number quadrupled to $97 million.

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How to file for unemployment during a pandemic
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