Center 50+, a city-run senior center, closed on Monday, March 16, and started offering drive-up meals for seniors. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)
NOTE: Salem Reporter is providing free access to its content related to the coronavirus as a community service. Subscriptions help support this.
This new digest provides all-in-one-place access to reporting on the novel coronavirus outbreak. A statewide media collaboration is sharing coverage among Oregon’s newspapers and broadcast outlets. Salem Reporter is part of that collaboration.
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Since Sunday, Pastor Jerry Miranda has been at home, anxiously awaiting calls from the hospital as his wife of 38 years battles COVID-19 in intensive care. “I know God’s on the throne and I know a miracle’s coming now,” he said.
Government leaders and medical professionals say it's now up to Oregonians on how far the spread of COVID-19 will go. They are calling on people to stay at home, and appear ready to order that happen as Oregon records its fourth death from the disease.
Marion County officials said a county resident has died from the novel coronavirus, the fourth reported death in Oregon from the disease.
Barbara Halliday, a Bonaventure Salem resident, recounts her experience feeling like there’s a “bullseye” on her for the novel coronavirus.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the state wants workers to telecommute and people to keep their distance. Is it following its own advice? State employees can work remotely more easily. But union representatives say such arrangements have encountered technological constraints and a public that is increasingly turning to state government for help with health care or economic insecurity.
Businesses and entertainers turn to the internet while others adjust with bare-bones crews to remain open. Services are reduced or canceled amid the outbreak. Some wonder how long they can go on while others settle into a new normal.
OTHER REPORTING FROM AROUND OREGON AND THE REGION:
THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE: Best practices for social distancing: Yes, it’s 6 feet and stay home
A grand-scale social debate has been raging in Oregon and across the nation over how far each of us needs to go to collectively slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. A growing number of people have voluntarily taken precautions that might have seemed unimaginable in the U.S. just three weeks ago: canceling kid birthday parties, working from home, clearing the calendar of all dinner dates and nixing that much anticipated spring break trip.
THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE: Oregon’s construction industry weathering coronavirus so far, but dreading possible shutdown
Hoffman Construction sent a memo to employees Wednesday informing them that a worker for one of its subcontractors at Intel’s Ronler Acres campus in Hillsboro had tested positive for the coronavirus and that steps were being taken to interview other crew members and sanitize buses and bathrooms he may have used. As it turns out, the memo was in error. The employee had yet to be tested. But the deep clean and crew interviews went forward, and the scare illustrates some of the risks at construction sites large and small, where tradesmen come and go all day, often work in confined spaces and have an ethos that keeps them on the job.
Two weeks ago, the Portland Center Stage 2020 season was in full swing, with productions of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” and “9 Parts of Desire” drawing big crowds. Now those theaters sit empty. The rapid spread of COVID-19, or the coronavirus, forced PCS and all of Oregon’s largest arts organizations to close their doors.
A slightly higher share of working-age Oregon adults could become seriously ill if exposed to the coronavirus than neighboring states throughout the West, an analysis of federal health data has found. Nearly half of Oregonians aged 18 and older – 43 percent – are considered at heightened risk of serious illness from the coronavirus due to chronic medical conditions they have, like diabetes, heart or lung disease. That’s according to an analysis of Americans’ underlying health conditions by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.
STREET ROOTS: Drug and alcohol recovery in a time of isolation
Amid coronavirus-prompted social distancing measures, in-person meetings that support the sobriety of Americans struggling with substance use disorder have been canceled across many states, including Oregon. “The secret sauce with recovery is personal connection,” Brent Canode, executive director of The Alano Club of Portland, told Street Roots. He said social distancing has “fundamentally altered” this reality. Traditionally, he explained, people in recovery attend group meetings, receive peer-to-peer services and engage in direct person-to-person contact.
As of Friday, Louisiana was reporting 479 confirmed cases of COVID-19, one of the highest numbers in the country. Ten people had died. The majority of cases are in New Orleans, which now has one confirmed case for every 1,000 residents. New Orleans had held Mardi Gras celebrations just two weeks before its first patient, with more than a million revelers on its streets.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Portland Police Bureau's main goals are as they have always been: investigating crimes and taking calls for service. The bureau's also working closely in a support role with the Emergency Operations Centers as the situation changes day to day in the city of Portland. While PPB is handling the intake of calls differently and encouraging the community to report via the internet and phone calls predominantly, Chief Resch wants to assure the public that all calls are being handled.
On Friday, a mostly sunny, slightly windy second day of spring, the parking lots of Bend’s restaurants and shopping centers were empty, as life under a new normal wore on. But at the parks, the lots were full. People wore sunglasses and light jackets as the temperature reached 61 degrees. They read books, walked dogs, and video chatted on their phones. Amid concern about the highly contagious, potentially fatal COVID-19 virus, Bend residents did what they could to distract themselves — under a directive issued by Gov. Kate Brown late Friday, some of these activities wouldn’t be allowed.
HERMISTON — The six-week school closure announced by Gov. Kate Brown last week has suddenly given some parents a lot more time with their children than they were expecting. For some, it might be a time for relaxation or chores, but others are looking for ways to continue their child’s education at home.
PORTLAND TRIBUNE: COVID-19 hits businesses in Clackamas County
With the governor's orders this week aimed at corralling COVID-19, the economic realities of a global pandemic hitting Oregon set in for Clackamas County businesses. Many restaurants and bars simply shut down, but others are attempting to limp along with takeout service. Macy's closed starting March 18 nationwide, including at the Clackamas Town Center, while the mall itself attempted to stay open with social distancing warnings in effect.
These articles originally published by one of more than a dozen news organizations throughout the state sharing their coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak to help inform Oregonians about this evolving heath issue. Salem Reporter is part of this extraordinary collaboration. Reports from the Seattle Times are by special permission to Salem Reporter.
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