KWSO News for Thu., Jul. 23, 2020

Wednesday’s (7/22/20) COMMUNITY COVID-19 UPDATE from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reported an additional 5 cases of Covid-19 for a total of 143 cases on the reservation since testing began. 88 people have recovered. There have been 1677 tests done at the Health and Wellness Center with 18 test results pending.  11 hospitalizations have been due to Covid-19 with 6 individuals have been discharged.

COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 271, the Oregon Health Authority reported Wednesday.  There are 264 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 15,393.

Governor Kate Brown announced several new measures Wednesday to help suppress COVID-19 in Oregon and drive transmission rates back down, effective Friday, July 24. Face coverings will be required for all people, including children age 5 and up. Face coverings will be required when exercising indoors, plus outdoors when you can’t physically distance. Capacity for restaurants, gyms and venues such as theaters, will be reduced to 100 people indoors. And, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm statewide, regardless off the phase the county is in. These new statewide rules become effective tomorrow.

The Oregon Employment Department missed its goal for the third straight week in processing thousands of unpaid benefits claims for self-employed workers who are out of a job during the pandemic. Still, there are signs of progress, Oregon Live reports. The department has now paid $3.2 billion in benefits since Oregon began its shutdown in March. This time last month there were 70,000 self-employed workers waiting for aid and that backlog is down to 44,000 unprocessed claims. State lawmakers approved $500 relief payments last week for as many as 70,000 Oregonians who have been waiting the longest for their unemployment benefits. State administrators said at the time it could take several weeks to begin payments, but the Legislature’s Democratic leadership indicated Wednesday they have made good progress and hope to launch the program by the end of July.

The Oregon School Activities Association Executive Board met this week to discuss school sports and activities this coming school year. With the uncertainty of school reopening plans in many parts of the state and the timeframe related to those decisions, the Board decided to delay the first contest date for Cross Country, Volleyball and Soccer until September 23 – a month later than previously scheduled. The original first Fall practice date of August 17 remains in place at this time.  New guidance from the state requiring face coverings even when exercising indoors will require further consideration regarding guidance for indoor activities. Dates can continue to change as schools decide their instructional models. Additional guidance for Fall contest protocols, including multi-team events, spectator policies, and regional scheduling considerations, will be forthcoming.