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Mar 9 2020 thru Mar 15 2020

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FreeLOCAL SCHOOLS March 13
Salem-Keizer preparing to distribute thousands of bagged meals as schools close
About 3,600 bagged breakfasts and lunches will be available at sites around the district starting Monday as kids are kept home from school. Tens of thousands of local students qualify for free or reduced price lunch at school.
SALEM COMMUNITY March 13
Salem young professional opens the way for women through financial advice
Brenna Baucum was recently honored at the First Citizen banquet, an event she considers the pinnacle of Salem’s community recognitions.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 13
Daily life in Salem is shutting down. Here's how healthy people can help their neighbors.
Many local nonprofit organizations rely on retirees for volunteering, and as schools and events close, they're being asked to do more with regular volunteers staying home. If you're able, here's where Salemites could use some help.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 13
Cherriots tells riders to expect service disruptions
Salem's local transit service announced some routes could go down due to staffing shortages from parents staying home after statewide school closures were announced last night. On Friday, all of the buses were still running routes.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 13
FRIDAY DIGEST: The latest reporting from Salem Reporter, other news teams on coronavirus
DIGEST: You can see all the latest news coverage from Salem Reporter and other news organizations in one place. This post will be updated regularly with the latest headlines and developments.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 13
State authorities expand restrictions in face of estimates that coronavirus could infect 75,000 Oregonians
Schools will close for at least two weeks, prisons are the latest venue to stop visiting, and cancellations of community events continue to build as Oregon confronts what health authorities now say is a global pandemic.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 12
Governor orders Salem-Keizer schools, all others in the state, closed in a move to slow coronavirus spread
Gov. Kate Brown Thursday night ordered Oregon's school districts to shut down their schools for two weeks in an escalating effort to contain the novel coronavirus. The move came as the state recorded six new suspected cases of COVID-19, bringing Oregon's total to 30.
FreeSALEM EVENTS March 12
The lights are going out on one Salem event after another
With new state restrictions on large gatherings, Salem venues Thursday started scratching events. Here's the latest round up of what's off the calendar, what's being postponed and what's still up in the air around Salem.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 12
The novel coronavirus has come for prom
Large events around local schools and college are being canceled to stop the spread of COVID-19. Among the casualties are scheduled prom McNary High Schools. (Other school proms are later in the year.)
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 12
Salem shuts down senior center, library event in wake of public gathering decree
The city, reacting to the anticipated spread of the novel coronavirus, announced the closures on Thursday afternoon.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 12
COLUMN: In the midst of a health crisis Oregon reverts to secrecy, sowing unnecessary fear
Oregon Health Authority officials and spokespeople have routinely refused to share basic, non-identifying information about local coronavirus cases or release statewide data about people under monitoring. Reporter Rachel Alexander writes about how those policies harm public trust.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 12
Willamette University moves all classes online over COVID-19 concerns
Willamette's campus and dorms will remain open, but for at least the next month, all undergraduate and graduate courses are online-only, President Steve Thorsett told students and faculty.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 12
'We have not seen anything like this in our lifetimes' governor declares as new measure to combat coronavirus outbreak
Gov. Kate Brown has signed an executive order banning social gatherings. Public health officials said Oregon could see 75,000 cases by mid-May unless action is taken.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 12
Five Keizer Fire Department paramedics quarantined after caring for COVID-19 patient
None of the responding paramedics are reporting an illness, and quarantines could pose challenges for the Keizer Fire Department, which has only 28 firefighters on staff.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 12
THURSDAY DIGEST: The latest reporting from Salem Reporter, other news teams on coronavirus
DIGEST: You can see all the latest news coverage from Salem Reporter and other news organizations in one place. This post will be updated regularly with the latest headlines and developments.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 12
Oregon bans large gatherings, school assemblies to end as two in Lebanon veterans' home found infected with COVID-19
Attempting to contain the novel coronavirus, Gov. Kate Brown is imposing restrictions on large events in Oregon for the next four weeks. The state also is urging schools to cancel assemblies and other gatherings and employers to take cautions as well. Oregon's major universities said they would switch to remote teaching in spring term.
FreeLOCAL SCHOOLS March 11
As coronavirus fears spread, schools struggle to quell rumors about illness
A false rumor shared Wednesday in a Facebook group for Salem-area parents claimed a local high school student had tested positive for COVID-19. The case illustrates the challenges schools face when fear spreads faster than accurate information.
FreeSTATE GOVERNMENT March 11
As the coronavirus outbreak reaches pandemic levels, Oregon sees its number of cases rise to 19
Gov. Kate Brown is preparing to take more measures in response to the outbreak while issues over testing and supplies continue to linger.
LOCAL SCHOOLS March 11
Houck students, once regulars in detention, transform through personal writing
A newly-published book by a dozen Houck Middle School students offers a profound glimpse into the lives of students between 12 and 14 dealing with eviction, domestic violence, poverty, drug addiction and parents in prison.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 11
Salem providers working to keep coronavirus away from homeless residents
As COVID-19 spreads in the U.S., increased hygiene is being pushed to help Salem’s homeless avoid getting infected. This vulnerable population could see more severe symptoms if they are infected.
FreeCORONAVIRUS March 11
State announces new presumptive coronavirus cases in Marion, Polk counties
A Polk County resident and a second Marion County resident have tested positive for COVID-19, state health officials announced Wednesday. Neither case is connected to any other reported Oregon cases, meaning the virus was spread in the community.
Oregon Legislature March 11
Nkenge Harmon Johnson bows out of Salem area Senate race
The CEO of the Urban League of Portland had earlier laid the ground work to run for the seat that's expected to be one of 2020's more competitive elections.
FreeCORONAVIRUS ROUND UP March 11
DIGEST: A collection of reporting from Salem Reporter, other news teams on coronavirus
DIGEST: You can see all the latest news coverage from Salem Reporter and other news organizations in one place. This post will be updated regularly with the latest headlines and developments.
OREGON POLITICS March 10
The matches are set for secretary of state, Oregon legislative races
Tuesday was the filing deadline for state offices, and there were the usual surprises among Oregon candidates. Democrats are competing in every House race in the state in 2020.
FreeOREGON STATE GOVERNMENT March 10
Oregon promised millions from federal agency to help confront coronavirus
Federal officials have advised Gov. Kate Brown that Oregon will get more than $7 million to boost the state's efforts to contain and treat the novel coronavirus. This comes on top of $5 million shifted from the state's reserves this week as state health officials expect to see more infected Oregonians in the coming days.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 10
Oregon officials restrict visits to elderly in care homes, acting to prevent coronavirus from hitting 30,000
In a continued ramp-up to contain the novel coronavirus, Oregon officials on Tuesday announced tight restrictions for visitors to 670 care facilities. Health officials also urged the elderly, especially vulnerable to the disease, to stay home.
STATE GOVERNMENT March 10
Gov. Kate Brown's executive order on climate change has similar goals as an unsuccessful bill. But its effects are uncertain
The governor turns to an executive order to drive down Oregon's greenhouse gas emissions. State officials say they can't yet estimate the costs to consumers and business, including the price of fuel. Her order covers the entire state, dropping rural exemptions contained in failed legislation.
FreeCORONAVIRUS March 10
We answered your questions about COVID-19 in the Salem area
Here's what we know and don't know about the Marion County case of the novel coronavirus, how local hospitals are preparing, and why health officials say this is different than seasonal flu.
SALEM COMMUNITY March 10
South Salem resident recounts experience being quarantined in China for nearly a month
Dago Benavidez was visiting his mother-in-law in China when COVID-19 sent the country into quarantine. He had to check in and out of the building where he was staying and spent his days watching the world outside through a condo window.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT March 10
City to erect 7,000-square foot covering in Marion Square Park after sit-lie ban goes into effect
The city moved one step closer to a ban on sitting or lying on the sidewalks during the day with Salem City Council action Monday. The ban would force homeless people off sidewalks during the day but the city intends to provide cover and bathrooms in a downtown park.
OREGON STATE GOVERNMENT March 10
After two failed legislative attempts, Gov. Kate Brown signs an expansive order targeting climate change
Brown signed the order saying it was needed in response to legislative inaction and would protect future generations. Republicans have already said it would draw a legal challenge.
FreeCORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 10
Oregon’s supply of coronavirus tests could run out Wednesday without infusion of kits from feds
State officials are expecting more materials for testing to arrive in Oregon by mid-week, after the supply of kits dwindled to 130 Monday.
SCHOOL BOARD March 10
Salem-Keizer board to vote on transportation package, Rosedale school sale
Tuesday's school board meeting is a busy one, with two property transactions and a $60 million school bus replacement package on the table.
ELECTIONS March 9
As filing deadline nears, ten candidates are chasing city council seats and five are running for commission seats in Marion and Polk Counties
The deadline to file for the May 19 election is Tuesday, March 10. Contested races include council positions to represent downtown, north, southeast and south Salem, the mayor's seat, a Marion County commissioner seat, Polk County commissioner seat, an assessor position and the county clerk’s position.
Oregon Legislature March 9
End of legislative session leaves pile of dead bills in its wake
Unfinished business in the House and Senate leaves work on behalf of Oregonians left by the wayside.
OREGON GOVERNMENT March 9
Legislative emergency board allocates $24.2 million in emergency spending for coronavirus, flood relief
The board allocated $11.5 million for flood relief in the Pendleton area and another $5 million for COVID-19 efforts without specifying how the money would be used.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK March 9
Oregon officials taking emergency actions to contain coronavirus outbreak
With new cases of COVID-19 emerging, state and county health officials are focusing testing to determine how widespread the virus is in Oregon and who is most vulnerable to the infection. At the same time, they urged school officials to take precautions but to close schools only as a "last resort."

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