UPDATE (7:02 p.m. PT) — State officials have ordered the shutdown of a Southeast Portland nursing home following the deadliest outbreak of coronavirus at an Oregon care facility.
Officials with the Department of Human Services ordered the emergency suspension of Healthcare at Foster Creek's state license due to inadequate infection control to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
An inspection in mid-April revealed that Foster Creek employees didn’t wash their hands, failed to properly socially distance and were not trained in how to slow the spread of infection. Some staff were only provided one face mask per shift.
According to a statement from DHS, that negligence has led to 117 positive cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff. Twenty-eight people have died in association with the facility’s outbreak as of May 5.
DHS is seeking alternative care providers for its remaining residents.
Grocery stores set limits on meat purchases
Some grocery stores in the northwest have begun limiting the amount of meat customers can buy to keep up with growing demand and the closure of meat processing plants in the region.
Fred Meyer has temporarily set limits on the sale of fresh pork, chicken and ground beef to two items of each per customer.
“We want to do our part to help ensure that everyone in the community has access to these foods,” a spokesperson with the company said.
New Seasons Market has implemented a similar limit. The store is limiting each customer to five pounds of meat products from both its meat case and grab-and-go.
“With an increase in demand, we have temporary meat limits in our stores but are working closely with our local partners and are adjusting orders as needed to make sure there’s ample supply in the warehouse,” a spokesperson with New Seasons said.
Oregon health officials report more than 70 new coronavirus cases
Health officials in Oregon Tuesday reported 72 new confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the state’s total to 2,817 known cases.
Health officials also reported eight new presumptive cases. Presumptive cases are people who have not tested positive but have coronavirus symptoms and have had close contact with a confirmed case.
Oregon officials also announced four new coronavirus-related deaths.
In Oregon, 113 people are now known to have died from COVID-19.
Clark County reports one new COVID-19 death
In Southwest Washington, Clark County Public Health Tuesday reported one new confirmed case of coronavirus, bringing the county’s total number of known cases to 368.
Health officials Tuesday also announced one new coronavirus-related death. In total, 22 people are known to have died of COVID-19 in Clark County.
The latest available data from the Washington Department of Health show 15,594 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus and 862 related deaths.
Oregon governor announces limited opening of state parks
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Tuesday announced the limited opening of some state parks and outdoor recreation facilities in Oregon effective immediately.
Outdoor recreation areas will be reopened in a phased approach, Brown’s office said in a news release.
Camping opportunities will become available as federal, state, local and private providers are able to prepare their facilities, Brown’s office said. Some areas like Columbia River Gorge parks and recreation sites as well as coastal areas that are not ready to welcome visitors back will remain closed for now.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said these state parks will offer limited daytime services starting Wednesday.
- Tryon Creek in Portland
- Willamette Mission north of Keizer
- Mongold boat ramp at Detroit Lake
- State Capitol State Park in Salem
- The Cove Palisades boat ramp at Lake Billy Chinook near Culver
- Prineville Reservoir boat ramp near Prineville
- Joseph Stewart boat ramp on Lost Creek Lake near Shady Cove
- Pilot Butte to pedestrians (no vehicles) in Bend
The department said parks will open and close with little advance notice, and updates can be found online.
U.S. attorney and Oregon attorney general announce fraud protection partnership
U.S. Attorney Billy Williams and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum Tuesday announced a federal-state partnership to protect Oregonians from coronavirus-related fraud schemes.
The two offices said they will continue to refer serious allegations regarding coronavirus-related scams to state or federal law enforcement. They said they’ll also work with other federal, state, local and tribal partners in Oregon to educate communities about scams and fraud schemes.
Both Williams and Rosenblum said Oregonians should be on the lookout for scams involving fake coronavirus tests, businesses marking up prices of essential goods and people soliciting donations for individuals affected by coronavirus.
Oregon providing benefits to children eligible for free and reduced meals
The Oregon Department of Human Services and Oregon Department of Education Tuesday announced that families with children eligible for free and reduced school meals will get cash benefits through Oregon Trail food assistance cards.
The benefits are meant to replace the meals children would be getting at school. Families can still receive the benefits even if they have been accessing meals from schools during the closure, the agencies said.
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service authorized the Department of Human Services, or DHS, to provide Oregon “P-EBT Pandemic School Replacement Benefits” to more than 351,000 students who receive free or reduced-price meals. That includes almost 147,000 students whose families already receive assistance through Oregon’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Families will receive money for the equivalent of one free lunch and one free breakfast for each eligible child, the agencies said — $5.70 per normal school day for the months of March through June.
Households who have SNAP benefits will have their March through May benefits automatically deposited into their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) accounts later this month.
Students who get free or reduced-price school meals but don’t have SNAP benefits will receive an Oregon Trail Card in the mail.
A neighborhood fiddler
Andy Emert is a fiddle champion who’s held multiple state and national titles. He was also a constant presence at David Kerr Violin Shop in Portland for nearly two decades where he sold and repaired instruments.
Like hundreds of thousands of Oregonians, he was recently laid off from his job. But as we found out, that experience hasn't dampened his spirit — or his love of music. Since late March, Emert has been performing nightly in his Southeast Portland neighborhood for a selfless cause.