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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline

PENDLETON — For six months, Kari Rodriguez kept a note thumb-tacked above her bed with her name, address and allergies to medication. Read more

At least two counties in rural Eastern Oregon are raising objections to the River Democracy Act, a federal bill that would add nearly 4,700 miles of wild and scenic rivers across the state. Read more

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Vaccination rates drop significantly outside of the Portland metro area, according to results of a Oregon Values and Beliefs Center survey. Read more

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SALEM — The state of Oregon will require students and staff in K-12 schools to wear masks indoors this fall, Gov. Kate Brown announced Thursday, July 29. Read more

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SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown has agreed to award state workers who were required to report to work in person during the pandemic one-time “COVID hazard payments” of up to $1,550 under new tentative labor agreements. Read more

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PENDLETON — Less than a month after Oregon lifted nearly all pandemic mandates, Umatilla County residents once again are being asked to mask up in public indoor settings to curb the spread of COVID-19. Read more

SALEM — In responses to a large jump in cases and hospitalizations and new national guidance calling for masking measures to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant, the Oregon Health Authority is recommending universal mask use in public indoor settings, according to a press release. Read more

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SALEM — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced it will require COVID-19 vaccinations for its front-line health care employees, including doctors, nurses and dentists. Read more

LOS ANGELES — California and New York City announced Monday, July 26, that they would require all government employees to get the coronavirus vaccine or face weekly COVID-19 testing, and the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first major federal agency to require health care workers t… Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County continues to report some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates statewide, but county commissioners say they won’t step in to reinstate pandemic restrictions. Read more

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SALEM — What’s true across the nation appears to be true in Oregon: If you’re a Republican, you’re less likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County officials said they personally will not take any action to prevent the Pendleton Round-Up from happening. But with cases rising at greater rates than almost anywhere else in Oregon, they voiced concerns about the state stepping in. Read more

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PENDLETON — The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday, July 21, approved payments for COVID-19-related billboards and contact tracers. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County residents can access county buildings and courthouses with little to no pandemic restrictions in place, according to officials. Read more

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PENDLETON — Umatilla County on Monday, July 19, reported its 92nd COVID-19 death. Read more

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SALEM — This week, Oregon children will begin receiving the first of three monthly payments of up to $408 per child to help their families afford to feed them. Read more

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Though Oregon shed a record number of jobs last year during the first two months of the coronavirus pandemic, the people most affected were women, racial and ethnic minorities and the youngest workers — particularly if they were in lower-wage sectors such as restaurants, bars and hotels. Read more

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WALLOWA — Firefighters and trucks from agencies all over Oregon converged on Wallowa on Saturday evening, July 17, to make plans to take over fighting the approximately 11,000-acre Elbow Creek Fire in northern Wallowa County the following morning. Read more

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PENDLETON — Umatilla County reported two more COVID-19 deaths Friday, July 16, raising the county’s death toll to 91 since the pandemic began. Read more

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PENDLETON — Umatilla County reported its 89th COVID-19-related death on Thursday, July 15. Read more

PENDLETON — Coronavirus cases are rising once again in Umatilla County. Read more

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When students of the Athena-Weston and Milton-Freewater school districts return to school this fall, they will take a big step back to normal as they will no longer be required to wear masks. Read more

SALEM — Oregon small-business owners are more optimistic about the future than they have been at any point since the pandemic began. Read more

The Oregon Capitol in Salem reopened to the public Monday, ending a nearly 16-month lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

SALEM — Oregon State University fine arts student Chloe Zinda has won Oregon’s $1 million vaccine lottery. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — The delta variant has arrived in Eastern Oregon. Read more

SALEM — The delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading in Oregon, albeit slowly, while other states and countries are requiring or recommending facemasks to curb its spread. Read more

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PENDLETON — No mask, no vaccine, no problem. Read more

HERMISTON — It’s been a challenging year for Laura Avila. Read more

LA GRANDE — June 30 marked the final day for state-mandated COVID-19 restrictions in Oregon, meaning no statewide mask requirements, limited indoor capacities, restrictions on social gatherings nor physical distancing. Read more

Oregon officially reopened for business and pleasure Wednesday, June 30 after more than 15 months with strict rules to limit the spread of COVID-19. Read more

SALEM — Oregon on Friday, July 2, reached the milestone of 70% of adults having received at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to officials from the state health authority. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY —The impacts of COVID-19 in Umatilla County will last much longer than the laws set up to contain it. Read more

PENDLETON — When Brooke Armstrong heard about Oregon lifting its pandemic restrictions on Wednesday, June 30, she said she felt little relief. Over time, she’s grown numb to the constant changes, dreading what might come next. Read more

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PENDLETON — Umatilla County joined Oregon in letting residents show their faces in public. Read more

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SALEM — The era of mandatory masks and social distancing is at an end in Oregon — at least, for most people, most of the time. Read more

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BAKER CITY — Baker County is in the midst of its biggest surge in COVID-19 cases in two months, and most of the recent infections are in residents 40 or older. Read more

SALEM — Summer is underway, and the Oregon Department of Education has released a new “resiliency framework” for schools this fall. In the 21-page document, the state agency doubles down on a previously-announced pledge to return to full-time in-person instruction in the fall, while making C… Read more

SALEM — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown pledged Friday, June 25, to reopen the state by no later than June 30 — ahead of the 4th of July Holiday. When the state is reopened, decisions about masks and social distancing restrictions will be made at the county level. Counties will also be responsible fo… Read more

SALEM — Oregon will lift pandemic limits in place for over a year no later than next week, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday, June 25. Read more

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SALEM — What are the odds of winning Oregon’s $1 million vaccination lottery drawing on Monday, June 28? With roughly 2.2 million adults vaccinated in Oregon so far, it’s one in 2.2 million. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County is one of six counties in Oregon that remained at high risk in Gov. Kate Brown’s latest, and final, coronavirus risk level assessment. Read more

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HEPPNER — Five vaccinated Morrow County residents have the opportunity to win up to $20,000 through a lottery intended to improve the county’s vaccine rates. Read more

SALEM — Oregon Democrats said Monday, June 21, they won’t fund an additional stimulus bill for the state’s essential workers this session. They pledged to revive the idea during the Legislature’s short session in 2022, but it’s not clear there will be a ready funding source for the proposal … Read more

SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday, June 22, announced what she said would be the last adjustments in the state's county COVID-19 infection risk levels. Read more

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Many Oregon businesses will see smaller increases in their unemployment payroll taxes, and even forgiveness of some amounts, as a result of a bill now headed to Gov. Kate Brown. Read more

SALEM — With 68.7% of Oregonians 18 and over vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 shot, less than 50,000 more people need to get a first dose for the state to reach the 70% target Gov. Kate Brown has set for a full economic reopening. Read more

LA GRANDE — In an average year, the Thunder RV parking lot boasts 30 to 45 RVs, ranging from truck campers to 5th wheels to travel trailers. Read more

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HERMISTON — The past year has been tough on restaurants, but the industry is showing signs of life in Umatilla County as entrepreneurs take the plunge with new ventures. Read more

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SALEM — Vaccination rates in Oregon have continued to plummet, with the seven-day average number of doses dropping over 8% from Saturday, June 19 to Sunday, June 20. Read more

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PENDLETON — Umatilla County Public Health in a press release Wednesday, June 16, announced the county’s 87th COVID-19-related death. Read more

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SALEM — Rural Oregon has low vaccination rates among Medicaid members. Read more

PENDLETON — The ZIP code encompassing the city of Pendleton reported the largest uptick in COVID-19 vaccinations in the state during the past week, mostly due to a new batch of vaccine data that had yet to be reported to the Oregon Health Authority. Read more

Oregon needs just over 65,000 more people to get their first COVID-19 vaccination shot for the state to lift most restrictions statewide. Read more

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SALEM — The Legislature issued an eviction order to itself on Monday, June 14, saying it had to wrap up its work and get out of the Capitol in under two weeks. Read more

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HERMISTON — As newly vaccinated patients are resuming their normal preventative health care, some are finding those appointments they skipped during the pandemic have consequences. Read more

SALEM — As Oregon counts down the days until Gov. Kate Brown lifts coronavirus restrictions, one of the state’s top health officials said Friday, June 11, it’s highly unlikely mask requirements would return even in the event of outbreaks in counties with low vaccination rates. Read more

SALEM — Oregon lawmakers will consider a proposal to pay essential workers who stayed on the job through the pandemic up to $2,000 in new stimulus payments and a separate $1,200 payment to unemployed Oregonians who return to work in frontline jobs by fall. Read more

SALEM - Oregon Gov. Kate Brown acknowledged Friday, June 11, that ending a statewide mask mandate will place greater risks on already-vulnerable people and communities. But during a contentious news conference, she stood firm on her decision to lift the mandate once the state reaches its vac… Read more

SALEM — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown confirmed her intention Friday, June 11, to lift the state’s mask mandate once the reaches its vaccination benchmark, which will then leave individuals and businesses free to make their own decisions about masks. Read more

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The number of Oregonians getting vaccinated against COVID-19 has nose-dived since Gov. Kate Brown announced a $1 million lottery for vaccinated residents a few weeks ago. Read more

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A 32-year-old Baker City man pleaded guilty today, June 8, for receiving a $145,200 federal COVID-19 relief loan on behalf of a fictitious company and then using the money for personal purposes, including buying a $49,000 car, federal officials said. Read more

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SALEM — Most Oregonians will see no change this week to local COVID-19 risk level restrictions as 30 counties retained their current tiers, Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday, June 8. Read more

SALEM — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced plans on Friday, June 4, to lift mask mandates and physical distancing requirements in most settings once 70% of adults in Oregon have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. She and her advisers have said they expect that to happen by June 21. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Sarah House had just gotten her second vaccine when her teammate on the Pendleton High School tennis team tested positive for COVID-19. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Eastern Oregon University announced Thursday, June 3, it will require students and employees to be vaccinated in order to take part in on-campus learning. Read more

BAKER CITY — Spencer Shirtcliff lost his senior prom and his graduation ceremony and his final high school baseball season to COVID-19, but he concedes things might have turned out even worse. Read more

SALEM — The tagline is pretty easy to understand: Get a vaccine, get a chance to win a million bucks. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County organizations have the opportunity to receive funding if they assist COVID-19 vaccination efforts as part of a new program to drive up the county’s dismal vaccination rates. Read more

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LA GRANDE — It’s unanimous. With recent announcements from Eastern Oregon University and the Oregon Institute of Technology, all of Oregon’s public universities will be requiring COVID-19 vaccinations this fall. Read more

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SALEM — Nearly all COVID-19 restrictions could be lifted in as early as just over two weeks, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday, June 4. Read more

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City Hall, the public library and public works buildings will again be open to users starting on Monday, June 7. Read more

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PENDLETON — The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners adopted the county’s budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year at a Wednesday, June 2, meeting. Read more

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With a return to in-person, indoor learning dominating education news amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Weston Middle School welcomed the return of Outdoor School May 24-27. Read more

BEND — Emily Kroytz, a registered nurse in St. Charles Bend’s intensive care unit, ended a 16-hour shift this week and came home in tears. Read more

SALEM — The Oregon Health Authority on Friday reported five COVID-19 deaths and 433 coronavirus cases. Read more

CLARK COUNTY — For four uninterrupted minutes Wednesday, May 26, an attorney representing Clark County performed a live reading of state statutes governing local health boards. Read more

SALEM — Oregon has surpassed 200,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, health officials said Thursday, May 27. The state’s death toll is 2,660. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon has surpassed 200,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, health officials said on Thursday, May 27. The state’s death toll is 2,660. Read more

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Moda Health is working to address shortfalls in rural access to dental care with the opening of Arrow Dental in Hermiston. Read more

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SALEM — More than half of all Oregonians are now at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19. But demand has slowed in recent weeks, and that’s apparently playing a role in the growing number of wasted doses reported by state health officials. Read more

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Gov. Kate Brown is getting blowback from political opponents seeking to derail a new state policy requiring Oregon residents show proof of vaccination at places with more relaxed COVID-19 rules. Read more

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SALEM — Eastern Oregon lawmakers are seeking data that has long remained out of Umatilla County’s grasp in a move to correct the county’s COVID-19 vaccination rate. Read more

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The Medford area has less than half the number of COVID-19 cases than the Bend area. Read more

BAKER CITY — Baker County’s rate of COVID-19 cases has dropped by more than half during May compared with April. Read more

SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown announced her “Take Your Shot Oregon” campaign Friday, May 21, offering residents the chance to win cash and scholarships in exchange for getting at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more

PORTLAND — As the numbers of people in the United States getting inoculated against the novel coronavirus that has shut down the planet for over a year dwindles, some states and businesses are turning to incentives to encourage people to get their shots. Read more

SALEM — A federal judge has decided that a group of businesses and political action committees that tried to block Gov. Kate Brown’s COVID-19 restrictions have not shown enough evidence to prompt such a move. Read more

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MISSION — The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will continue to require masks in all tribal government offices and tribally owned stores and restaurants both on and off the reservation, according to an announcement from tribal health officials. Read more

SALEM — Any Oregonian 18 or over who’s received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible on June 28 to win up to $1 million, under an incentive program announced by Gov. Kate Brown on Friday, May 21. Read more

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SALEM — Any Oregonian 18 or over who’s received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible on June 28 to win up to $1 million, under an incentive program announced by Gov. Kate Brown on Friday, May 21. Read more

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SALEM — The masking rules for businesses put in place by Gov. Kate Brown earlier this week will apply to the playing surface, too. Read more

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PENDLETON — Umatilla County Public Health announced two COVID-19 deaths this week, raising the death toll in the county to 86 since the pandemic began.  Read more

HERMISTON — There’s a small orange note that Michael Gormley, the owner of Neighborhood Books & Gifts in downtown Hermiston, plans to show his customers in the coming days. Read more

PORTLAND — Officials from the Oregon Health Authority released updated mask guidelines Tuesday, May 18, saying that businesses and churches can choose to no longer require masks and distancing for fully vaccinated people, but those places must have visitors show proof of vaccination. Read more

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MISSION — Harley Gone rolled up his sleeve and closed his eyes as pharmacist Angie Dearing gently slid a needle into his left arm and administered his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center on Saturday, May 15. Read more

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MILTON-FREEWATER — It’s a month until high school graduation. For many high school seniors in Oregon, it’s a race to complete classes and iron out college plans for the fall, in a year like no other. Read more