Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline

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A state ban on evictions from residential rental units has been extended through the end of the year. Read more

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The county found its missing computers and keys, but documentation related to Grant County Court COVID-19 labor costs remains elusive. Read more

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The Trump administration has announced it will provide up to $14 billion in additional farm aid for producers through the federal Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP. Read more

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Oregon lawmakers have approved money to start paying wildfire costs and helping homeowners rebuild, add workers to process unemployment claims and update technology and expand capacity for coronavirus testing. Read more

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Oregon on Friday reported a record-breaking 457 new COVID-19 cases, sparking concern of a new spike in infections and deaths. Read more

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Oregon state coffers saw personal and corporate income tax collections go up in the past few months, not down as had been forecast, after the initial shock of the coronavirus pandemic resulted in widespread business shutdowns. Read more

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Grant County has its ninth COVID-19 case. Read more

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Grant County Health Department officials said two new COVID-19 cases reported by the Oregon Health Authority last week were a data entry error. Read more

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Keys, laptops, receipts and daily activity reports related to the nearly $250,000 spent by the Grant County COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center remained unaccounted for Thursday. Read more

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Offline or online, education in Grant County valiantly persists amid COVID-19 as students and staff adapt to the changes of a new school year. Read more

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The number of COVID-19 cases rose in August, but Blue Mountain Hospital continues to prepare and adapt as life with the virus carries on. Read more

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Grant County hosted an online software demonstration in hopes of offsetting the roughly $41,000 it will have to pay a Portland software company that built the county a custom software suite to track federal reimbursements. Read more

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Grant County’s recently hired emergency management coordinator and treasurer are busy tracking down documentation and receipts for the roughly $250,000 that was spent at the county’s Emergency Operations Center earlier this year. Read more

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Oregon will stay under the COVID-19 state of emergency in place since March until Nov. 3, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday. Read more

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As schools begin the reopening process, COVID-19 brings some additional requirements for students in all Grant County school districts. Read more

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Oregon's COVID-19 case rate seems to be in decline, but state health officials are nervous about a potential uptick in cases, following the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. Read more

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A $62 million relief fund is now accepting applications from Black residents picking up the pieces after the novel coronavirus shattered lives and livelihoods across Oregon. Read more

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Frustrations of a lack of support from the state and discussions on being proactive during a pandemic dominated the conversation during a John Day City Council meeting Aug. 11. Read more

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The Grant County Health Department has confirmed three additional individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in Grant County, bringing the total to eight. Read more

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With the spread of coronavirus in Oregon holding fairly steady, Gov. Kate Brown on Friday said she is prepared to impose new restrictions if things don't improve. Read more

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The Grant County Health Department reported Friday morning that a fifth individual has tested positive for COVID-19 in Grant County. Read more

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As the states’ $500 Emergency Relief Check Program entered its third day Friday, state officials announced all 70,000 available payments were distributed or dedicated to Oregonians in need. Read more

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Oregon residents facing financial hardship from the COVID-19 crisis are eligible for $500 one-time checks in a program beginning Wednesday, Aug. 19. Read more

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Grant County students coming back to school buildings this fall will experience an unorthodox year due to COVID-19, but school administrators and staff are committed to providing a safe space for education while adhering to state guidelines. Read more

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The Oregon Legislature's most powerful panel approved a plan to use federal funds to buy $105 million of personal protective equipment, despite objections from over half of all lawmakers. Read more

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In the dead of the night, in the 11th hour, Oregon State University-Cascades's proposed Student Success Center was a failure in the Legislature — again. Read more

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The bar has been lowered for reopening smaller schools this fall as Oregon continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

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The county’s newly hired emergency management coordinator said Aug. 5 that he plans to move the county’s COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center out of the Grant County Regional Airport and into the Office of Emergency Management at the L building on Main Street. Read more

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Local kids in 4-H and FFA showed off their hard work Sunday as a masked, modified and spaced-out iteration of the Grant County Fair’s livestock show kicked off in the Heritage Barn. Fair activities continue through Saturday. Read more

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Scammers continue to evolve, using the pandemic to deceive people with secret cures, fake contact tracers and more. Read more

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Small businesses and sole proprietors impacted by the coronavirus now have until Aug. 28 to apply for grants through Business Oregon, Stephanie LeQuieu, Grant County rural venture catalyst with Oregon RAIN, said on Friday. Read more

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The second special session of the Oregon Legislature on Monday careened between boredom and anger, spiritual quotes and name calling as it dragged on from early morning into the night. Read more

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Oregon lawmakers were poised Monday to achieve their special-session aims by cutting spending and rebalancing the state budget, and passing other bills affecting unemployment claims and further limiting police use of chokeholds. Read more

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Even as Oregon lawmakers opened their second special session of the summer, the political battle lines are being drawn over legislation that would disconnect the state tax code from three federal business-related tax breaks passed earlier this year. Read more

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Thousands of Oregonians who await unemployment benefits, whose claims were denied or who never filed in the first place will soon have a chance to obtain one-time $500 checks from a state fund. Read more

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Office workers will be required to wear masks indoors to help keep Oregon on track to suppress the growth of COVID-19, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday. Read more

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Oregon Employment Department officials have now worked through a backlog of 70,000 claims by people whom Congress has made newly eligible for unemployment benefits. Read more

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Oregon lawmakers approved $94 million more to expand coronavirus testing and contact tracing, but deadlocked on $105 million more for the state to buy personal protective equipment for distribution to counties and tribes. Read more

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Oregon is likely a day away from crossing the threshold of 20,000 cases since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state reported Wednesday. Read more

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The Grant County Health Department has confirmed a fourth resident has tested positive for COVID-19 in Grant County. Read more

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The Oregon School Activities Association executive board voted Wednesday, Aug. 5, to move high school football and other fall sports to the spring of 2021. Read more

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Some local businesses have claimed patient privacy laws and constitutional protections exempted them from enforcing Gov. Kate Brown’s order to wear masks indoors, but Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration shared facts on Friday about what they said was misinformation about t… Read more

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The Grant County Health Department has confirmed a third resident has tested positive for COVID-19 in Grant County. Read more

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The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests cases hit their highest levels in four months, state health officials reported Monday. Read more

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has appointed a Racial Justice Council to advise her on the next state budget and to help reform a wide range of state programs and policies. Read more

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Gov. Kate Brown has made it official: She has called Oregon lawmakers back into a special session starting Monday, Aug. 10, to close a $1 billion gap in the state budget. Read more

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Rapidly rising COVID-19 infections, an ominous public health report, and a political stalemate led to Gov. Kate Brown's unprecedented late-night order rolling back the reopening of Umatilla County. Read more

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Only a third of Oregonians believe the state is "going in the right direction," and the majority support racial justice protests and police reforms, according to a new statewide survey. Read more

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The acting director of the Oregon Employment Department confirmed Wednesday that overpayments have been made to some people who are working reduced hours, but who also draw unemployment benefits under a state program that offsets their wage losses. Read more

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While the nation passed 150,000 deaths from COVID-19, there were some relatively encouraging numbers about a decline of the infection rate in Oregon and a plateau of the high numbers of infections across the country. Read more

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High school sports will return this fall in Oregon — just a little later than usual. At least that is the plan as of July 22. Read more

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Small businesses in Grant County still have opportunities to apply for grant funding through Business Oregon. Read more

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In order to resume in-person school this fall, Oregon counties and the state as a whole must meet a low threshold of COVID-19 cases that only one county currently meets, according to a new mandate issued Tuesday by Gov. Kate Brown. Read more

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Contact tracing became an issue as Grant County saw its second positive COVID-19 case since March this month. Read more

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While many fiber festivals around Oregon were canceled due to COVID-19, organizers from the Prairie City Fiber Fest worked arduously to maintain a COVID-19-compliant event while giving people a chance to learn, talk, sell and work with fiber. Read more

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The Grant County Piecemakers Quilt Guild was unable to hold the 2020 quilt show because of state regulations regarding COVID-19. Read more

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On a day when the one-day death toll from COVID-19 set a new record, Oregon health officials said some long-range forecasting offers a "glimmer of hope" that the rise in infections could be ebbing. Read more

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An informal coalition of local governments, civic and business groups across Oregon say they are being short-changed by state political leaders in charge of allocating about $1.6 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds. Read more

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All K-12 students in Oregon will be required to wear face coverings if they return to classrooms this fall, according to a new state mandate. All school staff in K-12 schools will also be required to wear face coverings such as masks or shields. Read more

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Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday ordered bars to close earlier, lowered the age for mask requirements, further limited crowd sizes and said she may impose travel restrictions. Read more

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The Oregon Bankers Association is encouraging consumers to empty out their piggy banks to help small businesses facing coin shortages resulting from pandemic-related shutdowns. Read more

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Aiding financially crippled businesses and the impact of alcoholism on public health were the center of debate Tuesday at a meeting to consider extending off-site alcohol sales rules put in place early in the COVID-19 crisis. Read more

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Grant County Fair organizers said they are moving forward with a spaced-out, modified exposition next month, scheduled Aug. 7-15, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

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Roughly $35,000 in grant funding will go to nearly 20 small businesses in Grant County impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

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County fairs across the state are likely to see their funding cut in half in December. Read more

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While students around Grant County continue their summer break amid the ever-present limitations of COVID-19, school administrators and staff continue their arduous work with the next school year on the horizon. Read more

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The Grant County Health Department has confirmed a second individual has tested positive for COVID-19 in Grant County. Read more

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As he heads back to Washington, D.C., U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley is pessimistic about how much the Senate’s Republican majority is committed to extending higher unemployment benefits or providing more aid to states and communities in the next federal coronavirus pandemic plan. Read more

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The Oregon Legislature’s chief budget writers have proposed to shield state aid to schools, but to cut almost $400 million in other spending and draw down reserves to offset reduced tax collections during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

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Oregon lawmakers have cleared the way for some unemployed people to obtain one-time checks of $500 if they have been waiting for weeks to obtain unemployment benefits. Read more

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While wearing a mask has evolved from a question of personal protection into a politically divisive symbol, the consensus among the medical community is that the science behind wearing face coverings to prevent the spread of viral infection has long been settled. Read more

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Self-quarantine and contact tracing are two prominent phrases in the conversation about COVID-19 and two points clarified during last week’s Grant County Court meeting. Read more

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Dispatchers from the John Day Emergency Communications Agency asked Grant County Court to pass a symbolic resolution recognizing dispatchers as first responders in Grant County. Read more

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Additional commodities are now eligible for federal direct farm aid, and some already-eligible commodities now qualify for more aid. Read more

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Alcoholics Anonymous groups are currently meeting in compliance with social distancing rules. Read more

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Face masks must be worn outdoors when social distancing is not possible, and private gatherings must be limited to no more than 10 people, Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday. Read more

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Oregon faces an "exponential growth" in COVID-19 cases if current trends continue, with ever rising numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Read more

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Grant County Health Department officials said Wednesday that the state will likely report a second COVID-19 case in the county because a person who tested positive listed their address in Grant County despite being in Idaho.  Read more

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A steep drop in lottery funds due to the COVID-19 crisis has killed the sale of $273 million in state bonds to pay for major projects, state officials said Wednesday. Read more

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The future of Grant County’s Emergency Operations Center is uncertain as the number of positive cases continue to increase at a break-neck pace. Read more

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As planning continues for school districts around the state on how to best conduct the new school year for their students and staff, insurance was a part of a recent discussion by state Rep. Mark Owens, R-Crane, and Sen. Lynn Findley, R-Vale. Read more

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With the number of COVID-19 cases in Oregon reaching new heights last week and masks being required indoors statewide, some local residents say they have been treated differently for wearing a mask. Read more

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After a contentious Grant County Court session last month that saw department heads criticizing the court members for lack of leadership and communication regarding operations of its departments amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant County Judge Scott Myers and Commissioner Jim Hamsher establish… Read more

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Community Counseling Solutions announced a pilot program offering free counseling services to medical workers and first responders that live or work in the counties of Morrow, Wheeler, Grant and Gilliam. Read more

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Drug decriminalization, a cigarette tax increase and limits on political campaign financing are on a historically short list of ballot measures that will go before voters in the Nov. 3 election. Read more

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Planning on having a group of friends over for a party this Fourth of July weekend? Going to the beach for fireworks and a picnic? Read more

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The North Fork John Day Ranger District opened part of Olive Lake Campground for day-use and overnight camping on July 1. Read more

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Temperatures in John Day averaged colder than normal during the month of June, according to preliminary data received by NOAA’s National Weather Service in Pendleton. Read more

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U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden has renewed his effort for an extension of unemployment benefits as the Oregon Employment Department continues to work on 70,000 claims filed by people newly eligible for those benefits. Read more

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Oregon’s COVID-19 infection rate is rising so fast that unless checked, businesses may have to close again and reopening schools this fall could be jeopardized, top state officials said Wednesday. Read more

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DMV online services will not be available from 6:30 p.m. July 2 through 8 a.m. July 6, as part of the DMV computer system replacement. Read more

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The plaintiffs, including a Baker City church, who sued Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in early May, claiming she had exceeded her legal authority in restricting activities due to the pandemic, have voluntarily dismissed their complaint. Read more

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Grant County department heads last week criticized county court members for lack of leadership and transparency regarding operations of the county amid the global pandemic. Read more

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One special session of the Oregon Legislature is history, but a second is coming. Read more

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Small businesses in Grant County will be able to apply for grant money July 6. Read more

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Gov. Kate Brown says she is committed to maintaining the $9 billion that state lawmakers budgeted for the operation of Oregon’s public schools in the current two-year cycle. Read more

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All Oregon residents will be required to wear masks or face coverings in indoor public spaces starting Wednesday to help curb the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday. Read more