Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline


The Emergency Operations Center Grant County established amid the COVID-19 pandemic has overspent its $125,000 budget by almost $75,000. Read more


Grant County Court members confronted criticism from department heads over a lack of leadership and clarity amid the closure of the county’s offices during its May 27 session. Read more


Grant County’s interim Emergency Management Coordinator and Emergency Operations Center Incident Commander Dave Dobler has resigned from those positions, according to County Commissioner Sam Palmer. Read more


State Reps. Mark Owens, R-Crane, and Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles, and state Sen. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, gathered together for their fourth town hall to talk about developments that have happened since phase one of reopening from when the coronavirus closures began. Read more


Abnormal is the new normal for thousands of students from kindergarten to Ph.D. programs in Oregon during the COVID-19 crisis, lawmakers were told Friday. Read more


Clyde Holliday State Park near Mt. Vernon is among a handful of state park campgrounds that opened Friday, May 29. Read more


Starting June 1, the Malheur National Forest will begin opening previously closed recreation sites. Read more


Oregon’s solicitor general argues in a brief to the state Supreme Court that the Legislature did not intend to limit the duration of an emergency declared by the governor. Read more


Oregon voters love vote-by-mail. So does the governor and two senators, all Democrats. Plus the secretary of state, a Republican. Read more


Oregon lawmakers will get a new chance to question officials about the much-criticized performance of the Employment Department in handling a record number of claims during the shutdown of business activity in the coronavirus pandemic. Read more


State legislators heard a parade of woes ranging from ruined businesses to crippled conservation education programs to the likelihood of devastating wildfires, all during a fast-paced hearing on Thursday. Read more


Oregon has to prepare for a possible second spike of COVID-19 in the fall, fight wildfires while not spreading the infection to crews, and do it with budgets slashed by the state's dire finances, lawmakers were told Wednesday. Read more

As grim economic statistics continue to roll in, with unemployment reaching an all-time high of 14.7% in April and 20.5 million people losing their jobs, the coronavirus pandemic has left many without the means to buy food. Read more


Allison Field announced her resignation as director of Grant County Economic Development after about a year on the job at a county court meeting May 19. Read more

Community Connection of Northeast Oregon, Inc. announces the release of $162,250 in rental assistance funds for the counties of Baker, Grant, Union and Wallowa to assist households who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

Blue Mountain Hospital District has several ways to order COVID-19 tests, including a rapid test on an Abbott ID NOW machine, as well as, utilizing St. Charles Medical Center and Oregon State Public Health laboratories, according to a press release from Health Information Manager Lori Lane. Read more

Oregon is moving into the third stage of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, but still has a long way to go until it is over, the House Interim Committee on Health Care heard Thursday. Read more

More than two months since the sports world went into hibernation, plans for the return of athletics have started to take shape. Read more

Grant Union has made several adjustments to its planned graduation ceremony May 30 after Grant Union Principal Ryan Gerry had a chance to speak with graduates’ parents. Read more

The Oregon Air National Guard is scheduled to continue flying multiple F-15 Eagle flyovers over hospitals and other locations throughout Oregon Friday, May 22, and Monday, May 25, in order to salute Oregonians on the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, lift morale during a time of severe hea… Read more

Gov. Kate Brown says federal aid must go hand in hand with spending cuts to offset almost $3 billion that state tax collections and other sources will be short. Read more

May 15 marked a day of peak sunshine and anticipated work as many businesses participated in Phase 1 of reopening. Read more

Blue Mountain Hospital now has a device that can provide rapid testing for COVID-19 in Grant County. Read more

Summer 2020 in Grant County will be like no other. Read more

As the hallways of Grant Union Junior-Senior High School and Humbolt Elementary remain eerily quiet, bus drivers, education assistants and cooks have been reporting to work every day to prepare and deliver nearly 2,000 meals five days a week since the statewide closure of schools to slow the… Read more

Cycle Oregon announced that, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the nonprofit organization is canceling all of its 2020 events — Classic, Gravel, Joyride and Weekender. Read more

There is not a single person who has not been affected in some way by the fact many businesses have been forced to temporarily close. However, don’t assume you should not continue to market your business, especially as the economy begins to open. Here are some tips to consider: Read more

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is increasing recreational access. Read more

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application and detailed instructions for the application May 18. Read more

Gov. Kate Brown announced Thursday morning that most Oregon counties will be allowed to take the first step toward lifting emergency limits on activity put in place since March by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

EO Media Group, an Oregon family-owned multimedia company, has established a Community Marketing Grant Program to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions in the markets served by the company’s 12 newspapers, including the Blue Mountain Eagle. Read more

Grant County began to reopen Friday after the state approved its plan. Read more

The Oregon Legislature is preparing to meet as early as next month at the Capitol to deal with an estimated $3 billion gap in the state budget due to the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

The Oregon State Police would make the “heartbreaking” decision to lay off almost 200 personnel and close nine field offices under a proposal submitted to Gov. Kate Brown. Read more

The Emergency Operations Center successfully submitted Grant County’s reopening plan Friday to the state for approval. Read more

Teachers and administrators in Grant County continue to teach students and themselves as distance learning enters its fourth week of implementation amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more

The Grant County Emergency Operations Center is planning to ask for an additional $25,000 in funding for personal protective equipment at the next county court session as the county looks to ease into the first phase of its reopening plan, according to the county’s interim Emergency Manageme… Read more

While the country finds itself in an era where toilet paper, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are in short supply as COVID-19 continues to ransack the U.S. economy, a couple of local small business have shown there is a surplus of hope and business savvy, especially when it comes to acc… Read more

State Reps. Mark Owens, R-Crane, and Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles, and state Sen. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, talked about the fallout from Gov. Kate Brown’s three-phase plan to open businesses during a virtual town hall hosted by Findley on May 7. Read more

Baker County Circuit Court Judge Matt Shirtcliff issued a preliminary injunction declaring Gov. Kate Brown’s executive orders related to the coronavirus pandemic as “null and void” Monday morning. Read more

Due to concern for the health and well-being of its member-owners during the COVID-19 pandemic and following federal and state guidelines barring gatherings of large groups, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative’s 2020 annual meeting, scheduled for Saturday, May 30, will be held virtually at 10:30 a.m. Read more

Gov. Kate Brown says she hopes federal aid will cushion the blow of proposed state spending cuts that could amount to 17% of their shares of the tax-supported general fund. Read more

Although the district attorney and sheriff said last week they will not enforce requirements or prosecute business owners for defying state orders to remain closed, businesses still run the risk of fines from the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other governing agencies. Read more

With Gov. Kate Brown’s announcement on Thursday, the two graduates at Dayville School reconsidered and decided to have a graduation ceremony at 4 p.m. May 30. Read more

Due to health and safety hazards caused by sanitation issues, all dispersed camping is temporarily closed on Oregon state forests managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry. Read more

Controlled hunt applications are still due May 15, but the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recognizes some hunters may be concerned about applying due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

Job loss due to COVID-19 has also caused many Oregonians to lose their health insurance. The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace can help them find new coverage, often with financial help. Read more

State officials initially did not want to include bars in the first phase of reopening Oregon counties. That is why bars and restaurants that open for dine-in service must close by 10 p.m. under the guidelines announced by Gov. Kate Brown. Read more

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden says an extension of unemployment benefits, a likely prospect as more laid-off workers file claims in Oregon and nationally, should be tied to automatic economic triggers. Read more

A plan to reopen Oregon’s businesses and allow social gatherings will rely on a three-phase approach, with major decisions being made at the county level, depending on local health conditions. Read more

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley says a broad shield against legal liability is unnecessary for businesses to reopen after a weeks-long shutdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

More than 70% of Oregon business owners report a decrease in sales since the start of the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey of 5,000 businesses around the state. Read more

Hair, nail, massage, tattoo and similar salons might reopen with strict requirements to keep apart and follow extensive hygiene procedures, according to COVID-19 draft guidelines posted Tuesday on Gov. Kate Brown’s website. Read more

COVID-19 presents challenges for graduation ceremonies, but schools in Grant County are developing ways to recognize the seniors safely. Read more

Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, but with the coronavirus pandemic, the holiday will look much different this year. Read more

The John Day Elks Lodge donated $2,000 to St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church to help the church offset the costs of preparing and delivering meals in the community. Read more

In the weeks since the Small Business Administration rolled out its lending program there have been significant implementation challenges. Read more

The Oregon Employment Department is providing unemployment benefits through the CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. In preparation, the agency has recruited and trained staff to process PUA claims. Read more

Grant County officials submitted a draft plan to reopen businesses to the state of Oregon for approval Monday, but other counties that have submitted plans have been told reopening won’t happen before May 15. Read more

The Grant County Emergency Operations Center will hold a teleconference meeting to discuss the first phase of reopening the county's economy from 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 5. Read more

Hundreds of people turned at the Oregon State Capitol on Saturday for a “#ReOpenOregon” rally.  Read more

Gov. Kate Brown hopes that some rural areas with few or no COVID-19 cases could reopen for business and other activities on May 15. Read more

Oregon’s restaurant industry is accepting some points, but rejecting others, in the state’s proposed guidance for reopening after six weeks of state-ordered closures and curtailments prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

For avid mushroom pickers, spring truly begins when friendly fungi return to the forest. Read more

Gov. Kate Brown’s office has posted draft guidelines for how businesses might be able to resume operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

If Oregon pandemic officials had a TV show these last two months, it could be called "In Search of Swabs" — and just about every episode would be deeply unsatisfying. Read more

Grant County will offer curbside COVID-19 testing from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. May 7 at the Grant County Health Department for up to 125 people who have preregistered. Read more

With Gov. Kate Brown’s announcement Thursday to lift the ban on nonemergency medical procedures beginning May 1, Blue Mountain Hospital will cautiously increase outpatient, clinic and ancillary services, according to a BMH press release. Read more

With OSAA’s decision to cancel all remaining spring activities and sports to stem the spread of the coronavirus, local senior athletes are watching an exciting time of their life slip away and grappling with what it all means. Read more

Before the government resumed taking applications for the $660 billion aid program for small businesses hit by the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak on Monday, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, hosted a conference call Friday with Oregon small business owners, including 1188 Brewing Company O… Read more

Grant County Court Commissioner Sam Palmer said the county has the capacity for 50 coronavirus antibody tests Thursday at the court’s closed meeting that was live-streamed on the Eagle’s Facebook page. Read more

When Dr. Bruce Goldberg encountered a difficult case as a family physician, he would gather a bunch of smart consultants in the room for their advice on how to help the patient. Read more

Oregon legislators balked Thursday at loaning $50 million in federal money to rural hospitals reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Gov. Kate Brown says she will not recommend a suspension of Oregon’s new corporate activity tax, contrary to what groups such as the Portland Business Alliance have asked her to do. Read more

Regardless of where they live, most Oregonians support Gov. Kate Brown’s stay-at-home orders, according to survey results released Wednesday by an independent firm. That support is strong even among the 40% of respondents who had suffered job losses, pay cuts or reduced work hours. Read more

Oregon’s economic reopening likely will be more gradual than what President Donald Trump has suggested. Churches, theaters, gyms and sporting events initially would remain closed. Read more

The Bank of Eastern Oregon helped 33 Grant County small businesses secure loans through the Paycheck Protection Program last week before the funds ran dry. This includes five additional businesses outside of the county with ties to the area. Congress appeared to reach a deal to extend the pr… Read more

Sheriff Glenn Palmer’s deputization of two county commissioners does not appear to violate state nepotism and conflict of interest laws. Read more

Grant County’s soon-to-be graduates are facing stunning losses as once-in-a-lifetime events such as graduations, proms and spring sports have been upended by the coronavirus. Read more

The Grant County People Mover public transit service will receive $137,000 in funding through the Oregon Department of Transportation to support rural transportation allocated through the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress approved last month. Read more

The Grant County Health Department, in an April 20 press release, said that a total of 50 COVID-19 tests have been administered in the county, with one pending results, 45 negatives and three “untestable specimens.” Read more

The second week of distance learning continues for many schools in Grant County, with each school implementing the program the best way possible for their area. Read more

Routine care visits have plummeted at Blue Mountain Hospital and Grant County Health Department amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Our system of government by the people for the people does not work when government officials refuse to keep the people informed about their actions. Read more

It looked like the White House and Democrats in Congress were closing in on a deal Tuesday to restock the popular program to help small business. Read more

The statewide Oregon State University Extension Service Outdoor School program is offering resources to engage children in learning about nature while adhering to Oregon’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” order. Read more

Oregon drivers will not be required to remove studded tires until 11:59 p.m. Friday, May 15. The deadline had previously been extended from April 1 to May 1. Read more

Even as a legislative panel prepares this week to draw from the state’s emergency fund, Oregon faces a steep drop in income taxes that the state government relies on to aid schools and to pay for services, and the state may need federal help. Read more

The state senator and representative representing Grant and Harney counties have requested approval to reopen Harney County's economy as a pilot project for the rest of the state. Read more

It’s hard to believe that we are already over four weeks into our COVID-19 lifestyle. Tremendous sacrifices have been made across the board. We just celebrated Easter without large family gatherings or in-person church services. Small business owners and those who are laid off are watching t… Read more

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden says he is for adding federal money for public works projects to stimulate a national economy in free fall as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Record numbers of Oregonians have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, but the pace is slowing, the state Employment Department reported Thursday. Read more

Being proactive is an important goal for John Day as the city council discussed the sobering statistics and data regarding economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Reopening of Oregon businesses will occur “gradually, carefully and incrementally,” Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday, but she refused to say when that might happen. Read more

With the soaring costs of eggs tripling in the month of March, Chester’s Thriftway in John Day fended off complaints of price gouging and were officially cleared by the Oregon Department of Justice April 7. Read more

COVID-19 continues to dominate every aspect of life, but community members in the county are fighting back by providing health care workers with the masks and gowns necessary to continue their work. Read more

As the new coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the healthcare system and economy, half of all Americans, according to an April 2 poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, reported that worry or stress related to the global pandemic is having a negative impact on their mental health. Read more

While many schools in Grant County began distance learning on April 13, Prairie City decided to implement the new program on April 8 to give time to find bugs and provide students with the supplies needed. Read more

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