Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline

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Tools to think for yourself are what Donna Cohen's workshops provide. Read more

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SALEM — Health officials say Oregon has surpassed 40,000 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. Read more

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Like many events in 2020, the annual Hermiston Farm Fair is going virtual.

Now in its 47th year, the farm fair is a signature showcase for Oregon State University's Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, or HAREC, which serves nearly 500,000 acres of irrigated agriculture across the Columbia Basin in northeast Oregon and southeast Washington. Read more

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ELGIN — The Boise Cascade Company announced it could shutdown its plywood plant in Elgin in early 2021. Read more

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PENDLETON — A fourth person who tested positive for COVID-19 while incarcerated at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton died Monday, Oct. 19, according to a press release from the Oregon Department of Corrections.  Read more

SALEM — As the total number of COVID-19 cases in Oregon nears 40,000 people, health officials announced Monday, Oct. 19, that face-covering requirements are once again being expanded to include all private and public workspaces, outdoor markets and colleges. Read more

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State health officials could distribute the first doses of COVID-19 vaccinations as early as the end of this month if it’s approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Read more

The work of public health contact tracers is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. While the current pandemic has highlighted the approach, it's been used for the past century. Read more

LA GRANDE — The COVID-19 pandemic meant Eastern Oregon University head baseball coach Mike McInerney had less time for in-person recruiting as he would have liked. Read more

The fight against COVID-19 is being undercut by precaution fatigue, willful ignorance and mixed messages between health officials in Oregon and Washington, D.C. Read more

SALEM — The Oregon Department of Corrections is moving ahead with its plan to end most of its adult education contracts with Blue Mountain Community College and other Oregon community colleges in 2021, jeopardizing 27 jobs locally. Read more

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An emergency rule to protect Oregon agricultural workers from spreading COVID-19 during this year's harvest is set to expire Oct. 25. Data show state regulators issued 33 violations stemming from 13 farm inspections conducted between June 13 and Oct. 28. Read more

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MISSION — The Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center announced it would close down from Thursday, Oct. 15, at noon through Oct. 16 after two of its staff members tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Read more

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MISSION — Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Dairy Queen on the Umatilla Indian Reservation closed on Sept. 30. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The Oregon Department of Forestry is terminating fire season on lands protected by the Northeast Oregon District, according to an agency press release. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — All the local school districts showed incomplete progress on their state report cards, but that was by design. Read more

The costs of this year’s COVID-19 pandemic and deadly wildfire season are still incalculable for some Oregon farmers, but while some see setbacks, others have seen opportunities. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — The Umatilla County Public Health Department is expecting an initial allotment of “about 1,000” rapid COVID-19 tests as a part of the state’s new testing strategy, according to Public Health Director Joe Fiumara. Read more

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New state-sponsored surveys released last week show that behaviors and concerns related to the coronavirus vary for Oregonians depending on factors like race, geographical location and political affiliation. Read more

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The vast majority of consumers — 92% — expects the pandemic will change this year’s Christmas celebrations, according to a survey commissioned by the Christmas Tree Promotion Board. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Just weeks after its removal, Umatilla County became the first county to be returned to the state’s COVID-19 watchlist on Friday, Oct. 9, Gov. Kate Brown announced in a press release. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday, Oct. 6, she and other state leaders in the coming weeks will be reevaluating the metrics used to determine when K-12 schools can reopen in-person. Read more

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Oregon will receive up to 80,000 rapid COVID-19 tests per week from the federal government, doubling its testing abilities and allowing people who don't show any symptoms of the virus to be tested, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday.  Read more

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PENDLETON — A Sunridge Middle School staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, Pendleton School District Superintendent Chris Fritsch said Tuesday, Oct. 6. Read more

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HERMISTON — Tamie Cline liked to think she knew most everything going on at Good Shepherd Health Care System, the small Umatilla County hospital where she works as a nurse. Read more

PENDLETON —The 2000-01 Oregon State University football team brought together players from across the country to produce one of the school’s best teams of all time, but the team also had two Pendleton connections. Read more

HEPPNER — Earning a trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is no easy feat during the best of times. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, cowboys were fighting for every last dollar to the end of September. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — A survey of Oregon farmworkers indicates a majority of farms are taking precautions for COVID-19, but conditions in the fields and at home can make it difficult for workers to avoid exposure to the virus. Read more

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Local case numbers saw only slight increases Thursday in Umatilla and Walla Walla counties. Read more

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PENDLETON — Gov. Kate Brown announced a second round of early releases for individuals incarcerated in Oregon prisons who are medically vulnerable to COVID-19 or within two months of release on Tuesday, Sept. 29, this time commuting the sentences of 66 people. Read more

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PENDLETON — Artist Laurie Doherty knows her paintings have life spans only slightly longer than sandcastles. Read more

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MISSION — A COVID-19 outbreak among Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation staff means the Tribes are getting some help from neighboring governments. Read more

It’s a meme now, how stressful 2020 has been. If the coronavirus pandemic, wildfires and political and economic upheaval have kept you up during a couple of sleepless nights, you aren’t alone. Read more

ATHENA — Band instructor Rob McIntyre had a problem. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon’s plans to replace the obsolete computer technology that runs its unemployment benefits system has suffered another setback, with a vendor who lost out on the selection process challenging the state’s choice. Read more

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SALEM — When the coronavirus pandemic forced schools online, education and health officials worried that without free lunches at school cafeterias, children in low-income families would lose out on the nutrition they need. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — In a move that loosened barriers for some schools in the state to begin in-person education, the Oregon Department of Education suspended use of the state’s COVID-19 test positivity rate metric for the month of September on Thursday, Sept. 24. Read more

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ONTARIO — The coronavirus continues to spread through the Snake River Correctional Institution, with the number of inmates infected almost doubling in the past 30 days. Read more

SALEM — By August, Marita Juarez was desperate. Read more

A tip of the hat to Pendleton Parks and Recreation for digitizing the records for Olney Cemetery. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon reported a record-breaking 457 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, Sept. 25, sparking concern of a new spike in infections and deaths. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — More than a dozen cultural organizations in Umatilla County are set to receive more than $500,000 for relief from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release.  Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Umatilla County on Thursday, Sept. 24, according to a press release from the Umatilla County Public Health Department.  Read more

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UNION — Falk’s Mini Mart in Union posted a sign Sept. 15 stating the store will not enforce mask mandates. The two-page sign stayed up for about a week before someone reported it to Oregon’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Read more

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PENDLETON — The Pendleton Round-Up’s namesake whisky is jumping into the COVID-19 economic relief effort. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon’s current budget will be nearly untouched by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and future budgets won’t be as hampered as initially thought, state economists announced Wednesday, Sept. 23. Read more

SALEM — Oregon said Tuesday, Sept. 22, that 49,000 claims for jobless benefits are stuck in an adjudication backlog that can last for months. Read more

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PENDLETON — One new outbreak of COVID-19 has been identified at a Morrow County workplace and eight previously identified workplaces in Umatilla and Morrow counties are now considered resolved, according to the weekly report published by the Oregon Health Authority on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Another six confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Umatilla County on Tuesday, Sept. 22, according to a press release from the Umatilla County Public Health Department. Read more

SALEM — All of Oregon’s 36 counties saw decreases in unemployment rates in August, according to the Oregon Employment Department, though many continue to rest above the national unemployment rate. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Twenty new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Umatilla County on Monday, Sept. 21, according to a press release from the Umatilla County Public Health Department.  Read more

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SALEM — Oregonians will be able to get hard liquor delivered directly to their home even after the pandemic is over. Read more

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VALE — After discussing it for more than a month, the Adrian School District Board of Directors has filed a lawsuit against some of Oregon’s leadership, expressing its frustration with how the school has been able to educate students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

PENDLETON — If it hadn’t been canceled, the 2020 Pendleton Round-Up would have looked very different. Read more

PENDLETON — COVID-19 had turned Sept. 18 into just another Friday rather than the Friday of Round-Up week. Read more

TAKOMA PARK, Md. — In front of baskets of tomatoes and peppers, near a sizzling burrito grill, the “promotoras” stop masked shoppers at a busy Latino farmers market: Want to test a COVID-19 vaccine? Read more

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PENDLETON — Two Eastern Oregon counties made progress in the long road of recovering from the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, Sept. 18. Read more

NEW YORK — U.S. health officials on Friday dropped a controversial piece of coronavirus guidance and said anyone who has been in close contact with an infected person should get tested. Read more

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PORTLAND — Wildfires are still burning as much of Oregon and the West Coast begin to very slowly emerge from thick clouds of hazardous smoke. As the smoke clears, the question of what exposure to that air will mean as Oregonians head into flu season during the coronavirus pandemic looms on t… Read more

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SALEM — Oregon workers, who need to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19, can now apply for financial support through a new program that launched this week. Read more

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SALEM — On Thursday, Sept. 17, smoke from the Riverside and Beachie Creek fires burning southeast of Portland seeped into the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, the state’s only prison for women, about 15 miles south of Portland. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon’s rapid rebound from the coronavirus pandemic is continuing, with the state’s jobless rate falling from 10.4% in July to 7.7% in August. Read more

The number of Oregonians tested for coronavirus during historic wildfires is likely to plummet to levels not seen since this spring, a senior public health adviser said Monday, with the long-term impact of wildfires on the pandemic unclear. Read more

PENDLETON — The sun sat high in the smoke-filled Pendleton sky early Sunday, Sept. 13, by the time participants in the Pendleton Round-Up’s Indian Village began assembling this year’s village. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County reported 34 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend and no additional deaths, according to a press release from Umatilla County Public Health. Read more

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The majority of Oregonians once again paid their rent on time in September, but the latest numbers from housing groups continued to show a decline in the percentage of tenants paying their rent at the beginning of the month. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — For the second consecutive day, the Umatilla County Public Health Department reported single-digit new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, Sept. 10.  Read more

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HERMISTON — Students and teachers alike were facing new territory for Hermiston School District on Tuesday, Sept. 8, as they started their first day of “comprehensive distance learning.” Read more

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PENDLETON — The desks were empty, the halls were quiet, but school was still in session on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — The two state prisons located within Umatilla County continue to report additional cases of COVID-19, with a combined total of 357 cases between them as of Wednesday, Sept. 9. Read more

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ONTARIO — A Snake River Correctional Institution inmate who tested positive for coronavirus died Saturday, Sept. 5, bringing to six the number of state prison inmates who have tested positive for the illness and died. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County reported the 40th death of a county resident who had tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Read more

UKIAH — On Aug. 24, the Ukiah School District had achieved something nearly every other public school in Oregon coveted: in-person education. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — The Oregon Health Authority reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County over the three-day Labor Day weekend, according to a trio of press releases. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney said in an interview Friday, Sept. 4, that he does not expect lawmakers will be called back to the Oregon Capitol for a third special session in September, based on conversations with Gov. Kate Brown and House Speaker Tina Kotek. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — A poll of Umatilla County residents’ thoughts on COVID-19 and the response to it shows an almost even split between those who are or aren’t generally worried about exposure to the virus. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — In a state where people of color have disproportionately contracted COVID-19, the director of Umatilla County Public Health suggested local numbers looked worse. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — The timing of when Umatilla County will be permitted to move back to Phase 2 of reopening is up in the air after the state denied its appeal this week. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it was extending its free school meals program through the end of the calendar year, meaning all children throughout the region will have access to free breakfasts and lunches through December. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County Public Health announced one new death of an individual, who was positive for COVID-19, on Friday, Aug. 4. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — The timing of when Umatilla County will be permitted to move back to Phase 2 of reopening is up in the air after the state denied its appeal this week. Read more

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ONTARIO — Different responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Oregon and Idaho along with cross-border spread of the virus boosted local cases of the infection and complicated the response by Malheur County health officials. Read more

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SALEM — The Oregon Employment Department erroneously paid about $100,000 in unemployment benefits to 155 Eastern Oregon school district staff who were furloughed last spring, according to the Baker School District. Read more

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The Oregon Employment Department has set a November target to start paying hundreds of millions of dollars in jobless benefits to Oregonians, federal payments that have been delayed for months by the department’s dysfunctional computer system. The money at issue comes from the so-called “waiting week.” Furloughed and laid-off workers typically aren’t eligible for monetary benefits in the first ... Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County is lobbying the Oregon Legislative Emergency Board in Salem to OK a $1.6 million renovation to its jail using funds intended to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Umatilla County Commissioner George Murdock. Read more

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The federal government has told states to prepare for a coronavirus vaccine to be ready to distribute by Nov. 1. Read more

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The Umatilla County Fair may have looked a lot different this year, but area youths were still able to see rewards from their work raising an animal for the fair. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon has recorded 22 deaths involving boats this year, the most since 1993 and nearing the record of 25. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla and Morrow counties didn’t add any new workplaces to the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly list of COVID-19 outbreaks for Wednesday, Sept. 2. Read more

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PORTLAND — The former office manager and bookkeeper for a La Grande medical practice pleaded guilty Tuesday, Sept. 1, for devising a scheme to defraud her employer, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams. Read more

SALEM — State lawmakers got their first chance in months to publicly question the head of the embattled Oregon Employment Department on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Read more

Oregon will stay under the COVID-19 state of emergency in place since March until Nov. 3, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County Public Health announced 57 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, Aug. 31. Read more

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MISSION — Kayak Public Transit is preparing to enter its next phases of resuming operations throughout Eastern Oregon, according to a press release.  Read more

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WALLA WALLA, Wash. — The Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in Walla Walla is moving into the first phase of its “Moving Forward Plan” on Monday, Aug. 31. With patients slowly being brought back to the VA for face-to-face appointments, a new check-in process is being implemented. Read more

LA GRANDE — The new championships dates for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics 2020 season — which the NAIA recently moved to the spring of 2021 — have been set. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — The latest COVID-19 case numbers and data for Umatilla County show new confirmed cases are continuing to taper off while its positive test rate has increased, as both remain well above the numbers needed to reopen schools. Read more

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Oregon's COVID-19 case rate seems to be in decline, but state health officials are nervous about a potential uptick in cases, following the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. Read more

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