Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Oregon House halts work after 2nd person tests positive for Covid

March 29, 2021 at 1:15pm

Watch Gov. Brown, Superintendent Christy Perry talk school reopening at 1 p.m.

Gov. Kate Brown talks during a video call with regional economic advisors in the south Willamette Valley and central Oregon coast on Monday, April 20. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Gov. Kate Brown will join state and local school officials, including Salem-Keizer Superintendent Christy Perry, to discuss the effort to resume in-person classes in Oregon public schools.

The event will be broadcast on Facebook Live at 1 p.m. Monday, March 29.

Joining Brown will be Colt Gill, director of the Oregon Department of Education, Perry, Superintendent Tenneal Wetherell from South Coast Education Service District, and Yosalin Arenas, a student member of the governor's Healthy Schools Reopening Council.

Brown announced March 5 that public schools districts across the state should resume in-person classes for elementary school students no later than the week of March 29, and middle and high school students by April 19. Her order came the week local elementary schools began in-person classes for kindergarten and first grade students.

All Salem-Keizer elementary school students now have the option for in-person classes two days per week. Middle and high school students are set to return in-person starting April 12.

-Rachel Alexander

March 29, 2021 at 12:31pm

Covid vaccine appointments open for April 1 clinic in Woodburn

Syringes of the Pfizer vaccine during a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Thursday, Jan. 28. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

People eligible to get a Covid vaccine can do so from the comfort of their car in Woodburn Thursday.

Woodburn Ambulance, the Interface Network and the Marion County Health Department are offering shots at Centennial Park, 900 Parr Road NE, on April 1. Appointment times are available from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The clinic will use the Moderna vaccine.

Farm, agricultural and food processing workers, wildland firefighters, homeless people and adults 45 and older with underlying health conditions are currently eligible for a shot statewide. Anyone 65 and older is also eligible, as are K-12 educators and health care workers. A complete list of those eligible is available from the Oregon Health Authority.

No identification or insurance are required to receive a vaccine, and anyone eligible to get a shot is welcome regardless of immigration status.

To sign up, visit the online sign-up page and use access code 2021.

-Rachel Alexander

March 29, 2021 at 10:32am

Oregon House effectively halts work out of Covid concerns

The Oregon State Capitol closed its doors until further notice on March 18. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

The Oregon House has again put work on hold after another Covid scare.  

An individual who was diagnosed with Covid was last in the building on March 16, according to an email from Lindsey O’Brien, chief of staff for House Speaker Tina Kotek. The individual was not named out of privacy concerns. Work was halted because some individuals who were possibly exposed are awaiting test results. 

“Out of an abundance of caution,” the House will not conduct business on Monday, March 29. As a constitutional formality, the House will still “gavel-in, gavel” but will take no votes. 

The House is expected to hold its next session Tuesday, March 30. The Senate is not scheduled to meet Monday or Tuesday. 

The House canceled floor sessions last week after another person tested positive for Covid. 

To minimize possible exposure, Kotek has directed the House clerk to use a computer to read lengthy bills upon final passage.

-Jake Thomas