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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline

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Oregon health officials reported a continued decline in known coronavirus cases this week, with 35% fewer infections than the previous week. Read moreCOVID-19 cases falling in Oregon

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SALEM — Three Eastern Oregon counties had case rates of COVID-19 higher than the U.S. average, according to the Oregon Health Authority. But several Eastern Oregon counties also had the lowest case rates. Read moreEastern Oregon COVID-19 case rates among best and worst in state

State health officials on Thursday urged Oregonians to get a shot of the new bivalent coronavirus vaccine booster ahead of an expected wave of infections this fall and winter. Read moreHealth officials urge Oregonians to get new booster

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BOARDMAN — On an early September afternoon in Boardman, the epicenter of Latino community organizing was in a small parking lot buttressed by taco trucks. Read moreNonprofit organizes Eastern Oregon Latinos one conversation at a time

Three Bend-La Pine teachers were fired Tuesday because they did not comply with a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for staff in public schools, set more than a year ago by Gov. Kate Brown. Read moreBend-La Pine schools fire 3 teachers for noncompliance with COVID-19 mandate

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After more than two years of record lows, influenza — the flu — is making a comeback in Oregon, state researchers say. Read moreFlu making a strong comeback as pandemic safeguards are discarded

Twenty Oregon teens are working to decide how best to spend $1 million to help fellow youth recover from pandemic-caused emotional, social and economic damage. Read more20 Oregon teens weigh how to spend $1M to help youth recover from pandemic trauma

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PENDLETON — Umatilla County Public Health is providing drive-thru vaccinations of bivalent COVID-19 boosters in Pendleton and Milton-Freewater for individuals 18 and older. Read moreUmatilla County Public Health holds COVID-19 bivalent booster clinics

The latest forecast suggests that coronavirus infections and hospitalizations in Oregon will continue to decline until Halloween before a new fall wave ensues brought on by waning immunity from current vaccinations. Read moreNew Oregon COVID forecast predicts continued fall in cases until Halloween, then potentially a new wave

Oregon has already pre-ordered more than 75,000 doses of a new coronavirus booster designed to target the particularly contagious COVID-19 variants in anticipation of a surge in cases this fall. Read moreOregon may get new COVID boosters next week

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PENDLETON — The pandemic made attending public schools complicated, but the 2022 fall term is bringing a return to the norm for Oregon schools. Read more'Close to normal' — Local schools ready with updated coronavirus guidelines

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PENDLETON — The Umatilla County Public Health Department reported two new deaths attributed to COVID-19 for Monday through Thursday, July 25-28. The total toll for the county now stands at 237 fatalities for the disease. Read moreUmatilla County reports 2 new COVID-19 deaths this week

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PENDLETON — Morrow County on Monday, July 25, reported three new deaths from COVID-19, bringing its total to 37 and its case rate to a high 301 per 100,000 population, according to the Oregon Health Authority. The state rate was 190 and Multnomah County’s 158 on July 20. Read moreUmatilla County has the second highest rate of COVID-19 cases among Oregon counties

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Oregonians have used the state’s $2.4 million digital COVID-19 vaccine card program only about 50,000 times, far less than people in Washington used their state’s app and at more than twice the cost. Read moreOregon spent $2.4 million on a digital COVID-19 vaccine card few are using

JOSEPH — It may seem the COVID-19 pandemic is all but through, but the residents of the Alpine House senior living facility in Joseph would have to disagree. Read moreCOVID surge strikes Alpine House

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The BA.5 omicron variant has swept into Oregon to become the dominant strain of COVID-19 and increasing the risk of re-infection. Read moreNew omicron variant drives up COVID-19 re-infection

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Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations sit on a tray ready to be administered during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Downtown Bend Public Library. Read moreCOVID update (copy)

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PENDLETON — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued a coronavirus alert Tuesday, July 5, recommending indoor masking for 24 Oregon counties with “high” COVID-19 community levels. The warning applied to Eastern Oregon counties, including Umatilla and Morrow. Read moreUmatilla County plans no stricter measures after CDC issues alert for high COVID-19 areas

LA GRANDE — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitors community levels of COVID-19 to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions and the total number of reported new COVID-19 cases in an area. Read moreCOVID-19 community levels for Eastern Oregon remain stable

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LA GRANDE — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitors community levels of COVID-19 to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. Read moreCOVID-19 levels 'low' or 'medium' in Eastern Oregon

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County Public Health this week reported COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Read moreUmatilla County reports 79 new COVID-19 cases

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PENDLETON — Oregon’s COVID-19 case rate is rising again, and that has state health and education officials worried. Read moreCOVID-19 concerns trending down in schools in Umatilla, Morrow counties

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PENDLETON — Umatilla County’s public health boss considers the county in a “more comfortable” place two years and two months into the pandemic, but the number of actual cases is harder now to pin down. Read moreUmatilla County's COVID-19 cases remaining low

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Oregon launched a $2.45 million app this week aimed at making it easier to prove and verify that someone has been vaccinated against COVID-19. Read moreOregon launches digital vaccine card; unclear how many people will use it

A new omicron variant of COVID-19 is driving a rise in infections, but is not expected to be a significantly severe wave of the now 110-week pandemic in Oregon, state health officials said this week. Read moreCOVID-19 infections rising even as severe cases drop

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LA GRANDE — The online school format often was blamed for academic backsliding during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a reading program aims to use some of those same tools to make up for lost time. Read moreMorrow County looks to Ignite better reading with pilot program

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SALEM — The Oregon Health Authority is recruiting teenagers for an advisory council that will decide how to spend $1 million in COVID-recovery funds. Read moreState recruits teens to spend $1 million in federal recovery funds

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Update 3/26: The New York Times reports Feds have decided to authorize second COVID-19 boosters for those 50 and over. Official word sometime next week. Read moreCOVID-19 infections expected to rise as new version of omicron spreads

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UMATILLA — A federal magistrate judge this week found some Oregon prison staff at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla have not followed the prison’s own pandemic-related mask rules. In a court order signed Monday, March 21, the judge required prison officials to follow their policies. Read moreFederal judge orders Oregon’s Two Rivers prison to follow its own mask rules

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County Public Health in the span of three days reported four more deaths related to COVID-19. The county’s total number of deaths related to the disease as of Friday, March 11, stands at 205. Read moreUmatilla County reports its COVID-19-related deaths hit 205

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MISSION — The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Board of Trustees voted earlier this week to end the mask mandate on the reservation effective no later than Friday, March 11, at 4 p.m. Read moreCTUIR lifts mask mandate within Umatilla Indian Reservation boundaries

SALEM — The Oregon Senate has approved a bill passed Tuesday by the House to end the agricultural overtime exemption, sinking attempts at compromise sought by farm organizations. Read moreOregon Senate follows House in voting to end farm overtime exemption

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SALEM — The Oregon Department of Education released updated guidance for school districts on Wednesday, March 2, that ends some testing protocols and contact tracing. Read moreOregon Education Department offers new guidance as schools ready to drop mask mandates

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation — the federal agency that oversees water resource management in 17 Western states — has big projects planned in both its Columbia-Pacific Northwest Region and its California-Great Basin Region. Read moreWater in the West: Q&A with Bureau of Reclamation water officials

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SALEM — Oregon will drop its indoor mask mandate on March 11, more than a week earlier than announced last week. Read moreOregon will lift mask mandate March 11

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PENDLETON — The city of Pendleton is excited about the prospects of its business community. Read moreOpinions differ on the state of Main in Pendleton

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SALEM — Oregon’s masking rules now have a firm expiration date: March 19. Read moreOregon to lift masking rules March 19

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SALEM — March 19 will mark the end of required face masks in indoor public places and schools, the Oregon Health Authority said Thursday, Feb. 24. Read moreOregon to lift mask mandate March 19

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SALEM — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Thursday, Feb. 24, she will lift Oregon’s COVID-19 emergency declaration effective April 1. The move comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations and case numbers continue to drop rapidly across Oregon as the omicron variant recedes. Read moreGov. Brown to lift COVID-19 emergency declaration effective April 1

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PENDLETON — In the waning days of Oregon’s mask mandate, a prominent anti-COVID-19 restriction group is holding a large indoor event on city of Pendleton property. Read moreAnti-COVID-19 event comes to Pendleton's Vert Auditorium

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The first day of spring could be a new beginning in the COVID-19 pandemic, with the likely lifting of indoor masking mandates, a state report forecast on Thursday. Read moreOregon could be "masks off" by March 20 as omicron wave falls fast

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PENDLETON — Oregon’s mask mandate for K-12 schools is expiring no later than the end of March, and the Pendleton School District likely will follow suit. Read morePendleton School District prepares for end of mask mandate

The number of new known COVID-19 cases in Oregon has been on a downward slope for 25 days, finally on Tuesday dropping below the average recorded during the height of the delta surge late last summer. Read moreSeven-day average of new omicron cases drops below delta’s peak in Oregon

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An Oregon State Police trooper was stopped Thursday night in Bend by police and cited for driving under the influence of intoxicants. Read moreBend police cite OSP trooper for DUII

A Deschutes County sheriff’s SWAT team used stun grenades to disorient and help arrest a Bend couple Friday morning for charges related to alleged fentanyl smuggling and passing counterfeit checks. Read moreA husband and wife in Bend were arrested for smuggling fentanyl in peanut butter

LEBANON, Ore. — On Feb. 11, the Oregon Seed Research Institute, an organization recently formed by the seed industry, hosted grass seed commissioners, state Department of Agriculture officials and others for a showcase of a research farm near Lebanon. Read moreSeed industry cultivates Oregon Seed Research Institute

BOISE, Idaho — A panel of Idaho lawmakers has introduced a bill that would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy — before many people know they are pregnant — by allowing extended family members of the patient to sue any doctor that performs one. Read moreIdaho Senate panel introduces bill banning most abortions

A Bend man was convicted Friday of two counts of second-degree bias crime after threatening and attacking two people at a bar because of their perceived sexual orientation, the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office said. Read moreBend man convicted of bias crimes for attacking two people based on their sexuality

Lawyers for the city of Portland along with police chiefs and sheriffs from across the state urged lawmakers Thursday to loosen up a bill passed last year that limits use of pepper spray and other less-lethal munitions to declared riots only. Read moreOregon cops, activists split on use of pepper spray, munitions beyond riots

State restrictions on capacity in restaurants related to the pandemic lifted in June 2021, but business is not back to normal. Read moreChallenges continue for restaurants

FIn this March 17, 2017, file photo, a protester holds a sign during a rally concerning the DUI threshold at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. Car crashes and traffic deaths decreased in Utah the after state enacted the strictest drunken driving laws in the nation. A study published … Read moreBlood Alcohol Level

In this March 17, 2017, file photo, Ed Staley holds a sign during a rally at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. Car crashes and traffic deaths decreased in Utah the after state enacted the strictest drunken driving laws in the nation. A study published, Friday by the National Highway … Read moreBlood Alcohol Level

In this March 17, 2017, file photo, Ed Staley, left, and Tali Bruce, right, attend a rally concerning the DUI threshold at the Utah state Capitol in Salt Lake City. Car crashes and traffic deaths decreased in Utah the after state enacted the strictest drunken driving laws in the nation. A st… Read moreBlood Alcohol Level

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Discussion Wednesday on a city of Walla Walla tattoo policy lasted nearly an hour, but no decisions were made and further discussion was postponed for later. Read moreWalla Walla City Council tables detailed discussion of tattoo policy

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LA GRANDE — Eastern Oregon University’s all-hands-on-deck approach is getting the school through the COVID-19 pandemic. Read moreEastern Oregon University relies on campus-wide effort to endure COVID-19 pandemic

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SALEM — The family of a Wallowa County woman who died in December is disputing an Oregon Health Authority report that COVID-19 had anything to do with her death. Read moreFamily disputes OHA report that COVID-19 had a cause in Wallowa County woman's death

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SALEM — State officials say Oregon is past its “peak” for COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant. Read moreOregon Health Authority to lift indoor mask mandate by end of March

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LA GRANDE — The Oregon Health Authority’s adoption of permanent rules last month requiring masks to be worn in schools is creating confusion and causing some people to be unduly worried. Read moreWhen permanent is not permanent — New status of OHA school mask rule is not what it may seem to be

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Numbers of reported COVID-19 cases are dropping in Umatilla County, at least for now. Read moreOmicron surge losing steam in Umatilla County

The driver who died after crashing into an embankment Monday night was fleeing from a Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputy who had tried to initiate a traffic stop east of Bend. Read moreTracking darts for Deschutes sheriff's vehicles can avoid dangerous pursuits

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PENDLETON — While Eastern Oregon still is in the dregs of winter, Pendleton Parks & Recreation is highlighting sunnier times for the Pendleton Aquatic Center. Read morePendleton pool sees big attendance bump its first summer back

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County since Wednesday, Jan. 26, added four more fatalities to its COVID-19 death count, bringing the total to 194. Read moreCOVID-19 claims lives of more Umatilla County residents

Oregon hospitalizations for COVID-19 will peak at a much lower level than expected as state officials see the steep spike driven by the omicron variant showing strong signs of waning. Read moreOregon seeing light at the end of the tunnel of COVID-19 surge

Oregon hospitals are seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases even as reported new infections start to drop, public health agencies reported Thursday. Read moreOregon hospitals strain under near-record COVID-19 cases even as new infections wane

The Klamath County School District again urged the state to allow the district to have more local control over how the district battles the spread of COVID-19 in schools. Read moreKlamath County School District pushes for local control over virus measures

Getting a COVID-19 infection before or after the COVID-19 vaccine can create “super immunity,” researchers in Oregon found, complementing previous research that could point to an eventual path to co-existence with the virus. Read more‘Super immunity’ against COVID-19 more widely possible, new OHSU research finds

The Oregon Department of Education took the rare step this week of withholding federal COVID-19 relief funds from the Alsea School District in Benton County after the small, rural district announced it would forgo the state’s school mask mandate. Read moreState withholds federal relief funds after school district drops mask mandate

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PENDLETON — Following two years of cancellations and curtailments due to the pandemic, most local events have returned in earnest. The latest is the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce’s First Citizens Banquet, an annual dinner to honor exemplary community members and businesses from the past year. Read moreLarge indoor events continue amid COVID-19 surge

JOHN DAY — Two weeks after surging COVID-19 case counts and severe winter weather stretched Blue Mountain Hospital to its limits, the hospital has a new plan to handle the next capacity crisis. Read moreBlue Mountain Hospital announces contingency plan for next patient surge

Oregon officials are scrutinizing a coronavirus testing company for possible violations of a law protecting consumers against deceptive business practices. Read moreOregon investigating COVID-19 testing company

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New research from Oregon State University reveals that hemp could offer protection from COVID-19, adding to the list of benefits for the versatile crop. Read moreHemp compounds block COVID-19 from infecting cells, research shows

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NORTH POWDER — An outbreak of COVID-19 in the North Powder School District has forced the school district to shut down in-person instruction and provide only online instruction. Read moreNorth Powder School District moves to distance learning

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PILOT ROCK — Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living is holding a vaccination clinic Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2-7 p.m. the Pilot Rock Fire District, 415 N.E. Elm St. Read moreCOVID-19, flu vaccination clinic Wednesday in Pilot Rock

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SALEM — Oregon’s effort to adopt a rule mandating vaccines-or-testing at larger businesses is over for the foreseeable future. Read moreFollowing Supreme Court, Oregon won’t adopt vaccine-or-test rule for big businesses

With the omicron variant pervasive throughout the community, it's important to mask up, keep your distance and wash your hands frequently, health officials say. Read moreHow do you know if you have the right mask to keep you safe from COVID-19?

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Oregon on Thursday had the unhappy distinction of having the fastest rising rate of new COVID-19 infections of all 50 states, new data showed. Read moreOregon gasping as it nears the pinnacle of the omicron wave

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PENDLETON — The Pendleton School District is limiting the number of audience members who can attend sporting events. The district in a press release Tuesday, Jan. 11, announced the move is in response to spiking COVID-19 cases in Umatilla County. Read morePendleton school sports restrict audience size after COVID-19 spike

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SALEM — The Oregon Capitol will remain open to the public when lawmakers convene Feb. 1 for a monthlong session. Read moreOregon Capitol to remain open during February legislative session

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An Oregon man who created several hundred employees out of thin air and then fraudulently obtained $3.4 million in COVID-19 relief funds has been sentenced to four years in prison. Read moreOregon man who defrauded COVID-19 relief programs gets 4 years in prison

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SALEM — Oregon is on a “red alert” of the growing wave of the omicron variant of COVID-19 that pushed the daily new case count to 10,451 Friday, Jan. 7, eclipsing the records set during the past four days. Read moreOregon could ration medical care as largest wave of pandemic hits the state

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