Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline

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Oregon lawmakers approved $94 million more to expand coronavirus testing and contact tracing, but deadlocked on $105 million more for the state to buy personal protective equipment for distribution to counties and tribes. Read more

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MISSION — A Good Shepherd Health Care System doctor questioned the need for the latest COVID-19 shutdown, and linked the spread of the virus to Umatilla County’s Latino population at a regional coronavirus response meeting based at the Wildhorse Casino & Resort on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Data indicates not enough testing is being done to address the COVID-19 epidemic within Umatilla County, but supply shortages plaguing the entire country are threatening the ability to expand testing to meet the local need. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County will be hiring its first-ever epidemiologist for the public health department and is backing the expansion of the Greater Umatilla Enterprise Zone. Read more

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The Oregon School Activities Association executive board voted today to move high school football and other fall sports to the spring of 2021. Read more

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HERMISTON — New workplaces in Umatilla and Morrow counties were added to the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly report on workplace outbreaks of COVID-19, but some worksites were also moved to the “resolved” category after 30 days without a new case. Read more

SALEM — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has suspended the liquor license of a southern Oregon bar because the venue failed to require patrons to “keep their distance.” Read more

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Agriculture groups expect to play defense during the upcoming special legislative session on Oregon’s budget, when natural resources spending will likely go under the knife. Read more

SALEM — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s office told lawmakers Tuesday, Aug. 4, it is in active conversations about possible travel restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus between states. Read more

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Gov. Kate Brown announced a new source of financial assistance Aug. 1 for agricultural workers who need to self-quarantine during COVID-19. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Another two Umatilla County residents who tested positive for COVID-19 have died, the public health department reported Tuesday, Aug. 4. Read more

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The pandemic foiled a football game but it proved no match for the generosity of Baker County ranchers and farmers, and Shriners and other volunteers across Oregon. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The Starkey Experimental Forest and Range opened to public entry Monday, Aug. 3, once again allowing dispersed recreational activities, including camping and hunting. Read more

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SALEM — When the coronavirus shutdown hit Oregon in March, Oregonians closed their wallets. Read more

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The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests cases hit their highest levels in four months, state health officials reported Monday. Read more

MISSION — Shortly after Gov. Kate Brown forced Umatilla County to revert to baseline COVID-19 restrictions, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation voluntarily revived many of its earlier social distancing rules. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County surpassed 2,000 total cases of COVID-19 after reporting 122 new confirmed cases in a press release on Monday, Aug. 3. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — The Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation has $370,000 in state grant funds available for small businesses and 501 (c) (3) nonprofits in Eastern Oregon. Read more

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PENDLETON — One of John Shafer’s constituents couldn’t have put it more bluntly — pass a resolution encouraging residents of this Eastern Oregon county to ignore Gov. Kate Brown’s new stay-home orders, or I won’t vote for you. Read more

HERMISTON — The Hermiston Walmart is closed on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1-2, and plans to reopen Monday, Aug. 3 at 8 a.m. Read more

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The Hermiston Walmart is closed on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1-2 and plans to reopen Monday, Aug. 3 at 8 a.m. Read more

MORROW COUNTY — Officials in Morrow County say the county’s residents have no one to blame but themselves for the county moving back to Phase 1 status. Read more

The OSAA executive board is set to meet next week to further discuss how to proceed with the fall sports season. The executive board last week delayed the start of the season to Sept. 23, and cited the need for more guidance from state authorities on their plan to reopen schools. Read more

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PENDLETON — The number of documented COVID-19 cases in the Pendleton area began to climb in late June, but the city’s sewers anticipated a surge sooner than that. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — A fear held among county officials since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic became reality Friday, July 31, as Gov. Kate Brown sent Umatilla County back to the beginning of the state’s reopening plans and closed all “nonessential” businesses for at least the next three weeks. Read more

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LA GRANDE — When the pandemic hit Union County and the sudden surge in numbers escalated, Union County became a priority for Pacific Islander leaders statewide, according to a press release from Eastern Oregon University. Read more

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SALEM — Rapidly rising COVID-19 infections, an ominous public health report, and a political stalemate led to Gov. Kate Brown’s unprecedented late-night order rolling back the reopening of Umatilla County. Read more

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PENDLETON — Umatilla County Public Health reported the 22nd and 23rd death of a county resident who tested positive for COVID-19 along with 32 new confirmed cases of the virus on Friday, July 31, according to a press release. Read more

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SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown will call a special legislative session for Aug. 10, in order to close a $1.2 billion budget gap brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Capitol sources. Read more

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PENDLETON — Senior residents took shade under canopies and trees and watched their families, friends and community members drive by in a car parade, cheering and holding signs of love and encouragement. Read more

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NEW YORK — Can the coronavirus spread through the air? Read more

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HERMISTON — Oregon State University researchers believe 17% of Hermiston residents were positive for COVID-19 during the university’s door-to-door testing period on July 25-26. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Restaurants can remain open for outside dining through the weekend before having to shut dine-in services and move to takeout only, the county announced on Friday, July 31. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has voted to move its football championship to the spring of 2021, just as it did with the rest of its fall sports. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Rep. Greg Walden’s 2nd Congressional District seat doesn’t belong to Cliff Bentz yet, but Bentz is already making preparations for if he wins the general election in November. Read more

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PENDLETION — Umatilla and Morrow Counties are moving backward in the state's reopening plans.  Read more

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HERMISTON — The Umatilla County Fair has announced a change in plans for fair week, Aug. 11-15. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County announced Thursday, July 30, its 21st death associated with COVID-19, according to a press release from Umatilla County Public Health. Read more

SALEM — Oregon lawmakers could decide whether to grant coronavirus liability protections to businesses, schools and other organizations in the upcoming August special session. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Union County has been moved from the governor's county watch list and deemed by the state to have its spread of COVID-19 under control. Read more

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Only a third of Oregonians believe the state is "going in the right direction," and the majority support racial justice protests and police reforms, according to a new statewide survey. Read more

The acting director of the Oregon Employment Department confirmed Wednesday that overpayments have been made to some people who are working reduced hours, but who also draw unemployment benefits under a state program that offsets their wage losses. Read more

While the nation passed 150,000 deaths from COVID-19, there were some relatively encouraging numbers about a decline of the infection rate in Oregon and a plateau of the high numbers of infections across the country. Read more

PENDLETON — Thanks to tanking lottery revenue, two local projects that once looked like sure things are now potentially heading to the chopping block. Read more

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HERMISTON — The COVID-19 virus continues to make its way into new worksites and long-term care facilities in Hermiston. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Eastern Oregon University awarded almost $308,000 to 282 students through funding from the federal CARES Act.  Read more

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A 55-year-old Athena woman was injured Saturday night when her vehicle struck an unoccupied parked car in the 600 block of South Second Avenue. Read more

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Milton-Freewater’s troubled public pool will stay open. For now. Read more

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In order to resume in-person school this fall, Oregon counties and the state as a whole must meet a low threshold of COVID-19 cases that only one county currently meets, according to a new mandate issued Tuesday by Gov. Kate Brown. Read more

HERMISTON — Umatilla County announced three new deaths of individuals positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, July 28, all of which took place in Hermiston nursing homes. Read more

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HERMISTON — Umatilla County had another triple-digit weekend for confirmed COVID-19 cases, but none of those cases was from door-to-door testing conducted by Oregon State University researchers in Hermiston during the same weekend. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Four months after filing for unemployment, Travis Hamman said he is still waiting for nine weeks worth of compensation. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Another large batch of new COVID-19 announcements is pushing Umatilla County toward 2,000 total cases. Read more

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PENDLETON — With fire season fast approaching, the American Red Cross is looking for volunteers in Umatilla County, and with the added challenge of COVID-19, there is an even bigger need for help this year. Read more

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EUGENE — Oregon is once again facing a COVID-19 test shortage. With commercial labs swamped, Oregon is one of several states turning to universities to develop new tests. Read more

SALEM — Oregon reported its youngest death from the coronavirus on Sunday, July 26, a 40-year-old woman who died three weeks after she received her diagnosis. The two other people whose deaths were disclosed by health officials were also younger than most whose lives COVID-19 has claimed: a … Read more

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SALEM — An informal coalition of local governments, civic and business groups across Oregon say they are being short-changed by state political leaders in charge of allocating about $1.6 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds. Read more

PORTLAND — The leaders of an Oregon Health and Science University study on COVID-19 think Umatilla County could be a key to unlocking better data about the state’s share of the pandemic. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Several large and small companies in Umatilla County were able to keep their businesses afloat as a result of the Paycheck Protection Program. Read more

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HERMISTON — There will be “Friday Night Lights” for the Hermiston Bulldogs this coming school year, but instead of playing in the fall, football will begin in March. Read more

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PENDLETON — Just when Blue Mountain Community College thought it had a plan in place for athletics for the upcoming school year, the Northwest Athletic Conference updated its plan of action. Read more

SALEM — On a day when the one-day death toll from COVID-19 set a new record, Oregon health officials said some long-range forecasting offers a “glimmer of hope” that the rise in infections could be ebbing. Read more

MORROW COUNTY — More than 1,400 cases of COVID-19 have earned Umatilla County national attention, but neighboring Morrow County hasn’t been spared. Read more

PENDLETON — One plan leads to another, but the Oregon School Activities Association has not given up on trying to put together an athletic calendar for its nearly 300 member schools. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Checking identification is more complicated when everyone is wearing a mask, but local businesses say they’re making it work. Read more

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HERMISTON — Hermiston School District’s decision to begin the school year with distance-learning instructional classes only is due to Hermiston’s rise in COVID-19 cases, among other factors, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tricia Mooney. Read more

SALEM — While Oregon’s large urban and suburban school districts wrestle with how to manage thousands of students across dozens of school buildings, with the potential for remote classes growing along with the rising COVID-19 case counts, it’s a different dynamic in smaller rural districts i… Read more

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The Oregon Bankers Association (OBA) is encouraging consumers to empty out their piggy banks to help small businesses facing coin shortages resulting from pandemic-related shutdowns. Read more

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County fairs across the state are likely to see their funding cut in half in December. Read more

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Pacific Power reminds customers that the company has options for aiding with bill payments, in light of COVID-19-related economic hardships. Read more

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SALEM — 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. Read more

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SALEM — A group that advocates for limited governmental powers has filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Kate Brown’s authority to require Oregonians to wear face coverings in public. Read more

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WASHINGTON — Nearly half of Americans whose families experienced a layoff during the coronavirus pandemic now believe those jobs are lost forever, a new poll shows, as temporary cutbacks give way to shuttered businesses, bankruptcies and lasting payroll cuts. Read more

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WASHINGTON — The nation got another dose of bad economic news Thursday as the number of laid-off workers seeking jobless benefits rose last week for the first time since late March, intensifying concerns the resurgent coronavirus is stalling or even reversing the economic recovery. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — New cases of COVID-19 kept coming in Umatilla County this week, which concluded Friday, July 24, with the public health department reporting 72 confirmed cases of the virus and the 16th death of a county resident who had tested positive for it. Read more

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HERMISTON — Free door-to-door COVID-19 testing in Hermiston in the coming weekend could paint a more comprehensive picture of the virus’ spread in the city. Read more

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PENDLETON — The city of Pendleton is moving on from its partnership with the developer behind Pendleton Heights. Read more

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The executive board of the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA), which regulates high school sports in the state, decided after a three-day work session this week to delay high school football, including practices, indefinitely. Read more

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SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown announced at a Wednesday, July 22, press conference that there will be additional statewide restrictions under Phase 2 of reopening plans as soon as Friday, July 24. Read more

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SALEM — In two months, the novel coronavirus has ripped through Malheur County, 10,000 square miles of cattle ranches, onion farms and small towns on the border with Idaho. Read more

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HERMISTON — The Oregon Health Authority has reported an outbreak of COVID-19 at Regency Hermiston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Read more

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PORTLAND — A federal judge has denied a petition to bypass state-required signatures to qualify as a ballot measure its proposal for 17 counties to divorce from Oregon and become part of Idaho. Read more

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SALEM — All K-12 students in Oregon will be required to wear face coverings if they return to classrooms this fall, according to a new state mandate. All school staff in K-12 schools will also be required to wear face coverings, such as masks or shields. Read more

SALEM — Aiding financially crippled businesses and the impact of alcoholism on public health were the center of debate Tuesday, July 21, at a meeting to consider extending off-site alcohol sales rules put in place early in the COVID-19 crisis. Read more

WESTON — Nearly a dozen people lined themselves along Franklin Street in Weston on Saturday, July 18, waiting for their turn to cycle through the Weston Food Pantry and pick up some much-needed food for the next month. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County Public Health announced another 164 COVID-19 cases from over the weekend as the county’s weekslong coronavirus surge continues. Read more

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Added facilities and virtual opportunities, "spike camps" aim to reduce group sizes as BLM, others, follow CDC guidance. Read more

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SALEM — Heather Griggs presses a phone to her ear in a makeshift office in the small brick courthouse that once served as a jail in rural Pendleton, a place best known for its annual rodeo. Read more

SALEM — The Oregon Employment Department is expecting a shipment on Monday, July 20 — 3,000 face masks and roughly 300 face shields. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon’s immigrant communities have received more than $10 million in disaster relief through the Oregon Worker Relief Fund since its launch on May 10, according to the coalition of advocacy groups that pushed to establish the program. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Following a week of reporting 255 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the ninth death of a county resident who had tested positive for the virus, Umatilla County now sits atop the state with 151.2 cases per 10,000 residents, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County reached 1,261 cases of COVID-19 with another 42 confirmed cases reported on Friday, July 17, according to a press release.  Read more

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The Oregon Legislature’s chief budget writers have proposed to shield state aid to schools, but to cut almost $400 million in other spending and draw down reserves to offset reduced tax collections during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

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SALEM — The Oregon Employment Department plans to begin requiring employees to wear masks at its call centers and claims processing facilities after a succession of coronavirus outbreaks that infected 13 employees and, last week, shuttered its Gresham facility. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — A 72-year-old man who lived at Regency Hermiston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center died Tuesday, July 14 after testing positive for COVID-19 on July 8, a press release from the Umatilla County Public Health Department stated.  Read more

PENDLETON — Pendleton school teachers pulled off the digital equivalent of a packed house at a Monday, July 13, school board meeting. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Jeanie Lemens wants the community to think about people like her. Read more

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HERMISTON — Hermiston’s Walmart Distribution Center and Marlette Homes joined the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly list of workplace COVID-19 outbreaks in its Wednesday, July 15, report. Read more

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he'll begin to roll out details of the new COVID-19 relief package to senators as soon as next week and suggested it will include new funding for school reopenings, some unemployment benefits and money for health care providers. Read more

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