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COVID-19 Oregon impacts: May primary still on; ODF, OLCC, DHS, OSHA, other notices

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon's secretary of state said Thursday that for now, the May 19 primary is still on track. We also have an OLCC rules update, numerous other agency releases and one from Rep. Greg Walden urging residents give blood, to help with a severe shortage.


Oregon Secretary of State's Office news release:

May Primary Moves Forward as Planned

SALEM, OR —Oregon’s May 19th Primary Election will continue as planned. The certified list of 371 candidates that filed to run for office has been sent to our county election experts this week so that they can begin laying out the ballots to be sent to the printer. The voters’ pamphlet is also being put together and proofread so it can be sent to the printer later this month.

Ballots for military and overseas voters will be mailed out not later than April 4th, and regular ballots will be mailed out starting April 29th.

Because Oregon votes by mail, we do not have to be concerned about social distancing issues at polling places that so many other states are struggling with. Many states are looking to implement our vote by mail system as a safer way to conduct elections in November. Contingency plans are being prepared to deal with any impacts the COVID-19 virus may have on our election processes. 

The May 19th election is a primary election. Primaries serve two main purposes. The first is for all voters to be able to cast ballots for candidates for nonpartisan offices like judges and some county and other local offices. The second is for the voters registered with a major political party to select their nominees for partisan office like US President, Oregon Secretary of State, Treasurer and Attorney General and legislators at both the state and national level.

Those registered as not affiliated with a political party, or registered with a minor party (Constitution, Independent, Libertarian, Pacific Green, Progressive, Working Families) will receive a ballot that includes only nonpartisan offices. The US Supreme Court has ruled that political parties get to decide who votes in their primaries so those of you registered as not affiliated with a political party or registered with a minor party will not have candidates for President or any partisan office on your May primary ballot. You will have them on your November 3rd ballot. Only registered Republicans will be able to vote to choose their nominees for partisan offices, and only registered Democrats will be able to vote to choose their nominees for partisan offices.

If you desire to register to vote, update your registration, or change your political party, the deadline is April 28th but please do it as soon as possible.  As always, go to your trusted source of election information at oregonvotes.gov.


OLCC Delivery, Curbside Pickup Rules Eased to Help

Applications Prioritized, Temporary Action Eases Delivery Requirements

Portland, OR -- Today the Oregon Liquor Control Commission took action designed to ease the economic hardship faced by the hospitality industry as result of public health mandates to help stop the spread of the novel infectious coronavirus (COVID-19).  The Commission’s action relaxes some of the requirements relating to delivery of malt beverages, wine and cider by licensees who qualify for same-day delivery.

At its monthly meeting today, the Commission approved emergency rules to enable licensees that currently have an Off-Premises license – or a license that includes Off-Premises Sales Privileges with Same-Day Delivery approval to make delivery of malt beverages, wine and cider to customers at curbside. Home delivery was already permissible, but with the Commission’s action today, the hours for same-day delivery of alcohol have been extended to 2:30 a.m.

Separately, Commission staff have created a streamlined application process for existing Limited On-Premises Sales and Full On-Premises Sales Licensees (restaurants & bars) to start selling malt beverages, wine and cider to go. Qualified licensees can apply for a “90-day Authority To Operate” (ATO) with an Off-Premises Sales license.

“We are looking to help our licensees – economically helping them get every dollar they can, but also administratively by giving them the tools they need,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director. “These are difficult times for all our industries, and we are looking across our licensee types to do what we can do to help business.”

Curbside delivery includes delivery to a location that is within 100 feet of the boundary of the licensed premises. Licensees can utilize e-commerce operators (beverage & food-delivery app couriers) for delivery provided that the e-commerce providers and the licensees comply with amended delivery rules and the temporary policy which can be located here OAR 845-006-0392 and OAR 845-006-0396.

Licensees seeking to apply for a 90-day ATO with an Off-Premises Sales license can begin the process online here. Statewide there are approximately 5500 eligible licensees for this license; the processing time for each application will vary and a timeframe for granting the ATO cannot be specified.

The Governor of Oregon declared an emergency under ORS 401.165 due to the public health threat posed by the novel infectious coronavirus (COVID-19). The Governor has ordered that immediate implementation of social distancing and community mitigation measures necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Governor’s March 17, 2020 Executive Order 20-07 further prohibits on-site consumption of food and drink at restaurants, bars, and similar establishments.   The penalty for failure to comply includes immediate suspension of the license of the licensed premises.

Licensees that have general questions about their license should contact Licensing Services at olcc.liquorlicenseapplication@oregon.gov.

Click here for the COVID-19 Temporary Changes: Off-Premises Sales & Delivery Fact Sheet

Go to OLCC’s Business Continuity Information web page


FOCUS ON CHILD SAFETY AND WELL-BEING IS PARAMOUNT DURING SOCIAL DISTANCING

Salem, OR – Reduced contact with educators, medical professionals, and community members can impact children and families in many ways. During this time of social distancing, the Oregon Department of Human Services encourages Oregonians to check in with families and continue to engage with child welfare when appropriate.

“Our child welfare agency is a small part of a much larger system that focuses on child safety,” said Rebecca Jones Gaston, DHS Child Welfare Director “During this very fluid situation, where there are more questions than answers, we are keeping child safety paramount in our work and want to reiterate our dedication to children and families.”

During this time, the DHS Child Welfare Program will continue to operate the 24/7 statewide Child Abuse hotline, respond to reports of abuse and neglect, and work with community partners to maintain support to families.

The COVID-19 pandemic creates many challenges for families, which could impact child safety, including:

  • Lack of access to medical care
  • Lack of face time with mandated reporters
  • Limited access to regular meals due to school closures
  • Known exposure to COVID-19 or symptomatic people
  • In close contact with someone who is considered high risk if infected with COVID-19

DHS encourages community members to check in with at-risk families -- including young children, children and adults with developmental delays or other medical vulnerabilities, isolated children and families, and youth and families with severe emotional/mental health needs – through phone, email, or by safe distance.

“As we grapple with isolation and uncertainty, let’s connect with one other in safe ways to continue to build the connected, generous communities we all need,” said Becky Jones, Executive Director of Oregon Child Abuse Intervention Centers.

Sharing resource information for food banks, unemployment benefits, SNAP availability, and educational resources can be extremely helpful. If you suspect a child is being abused, please contact the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-855-503-(SAFE)7233.

More information for resources and support:

  • 211info.org (also by dialing 211) offers connection to local and regional resources for food banks, housing assistance, and mental health services
  • Lines for Life, a nonprofit dedicated to substance abuse and suicide prevention: 1-800-273-8255 or text '273Talk' to 839863

OREGON OSHA CANCELS RULE HEARINGS IN LIGHT OF CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

(Salem) – Following state restrictions and federal recommendations on gatherings in light of the coronavirus outbreak, Oregon OSHA has canceled a series of statewide public hearings – including March 26-27 in Bend – involving proposed rules concerning job safety and health.

The decision affects hearings on three proposed rules: clarification of employer responsibilities; a reduction in the permissible exposure limit for manganese compounds and fume; and an increase of certain minimum and maximum penalties for alleged violations.

To ensure the public has time to give input on the proposals, Oregon OSHA will reschedule hearings for the employer responsibility and penalties rule proposals. The division will also extend the public comment period to at least two weeks after the last rescheduled hearings.

Those public hearings will be rescheduled in the same cities as previously slated, in August or September 2020. Once the rescheduling is completed, hearing dates, times, and the new comment period ending date will be posted on the division’s website.

Notices will also be sent to people who have signed up for the division’s email list about rule updates. People may sign up by visiting osha.oregon.gov and scrolling down to “Get email notifications.”

Meanwhile, the March 26 manganese hearing in Bend – which is canceled – will not be rescheduled. However, the comment period for that rule proposal – which received public hearings in February and early March – will remain open until May 4, 2020.

Details are as follows:

Employer responsibilities

Canceled public hearings: March 26 (Oregon OSHA Bend field office); March 30 (Cook Memorial Library, La Grande); April 15 (Eugene Public Library); April 24 (Oregon OSHA Portland field office); May 7 (Coos Bay Public Library); May 14 (Medford Public Library).

Work to reschedule public hearings is under way.

Get a copy of the proposed rule: On osha.oregon.gov, go to “Rules and laws,” then “Proposed rules.” Or call 503-947-7449. Direct link available here.

To comment by mail: Department of Consumer and Business Services/Oregon OSHA; P.O. Box 14480, Salem, OR 97309

Email – tech.web@oregon.gov

Fax – 503-947-7461

Manganese

Canceled public hearings: March 26 (Oregon OSHA Bend field office).

Comment period remains open until May 4.

Get a copy of the proposed rule: On osha.oregon.gov, go to “Rules and laws,” then “Proposed rules.” Or call 503-947-7449. Direct link available here.

To comment by mail: Department of Consumer and Business Services/Oregon OSHA; P.O. Box 14480, Salem, OR 97309

Email – tech.web@oregon.gov

Fax – 503-947-7461

Minimum/maximum penalties

Cancelled public hearings: March 27 (Oregon OSHA Bend field office); April 13 (Oregon OSHA Portland field office).

Work to reschedule public hearings is under way.

Get a copy of the proposed rule: On osha.oregon.gov, go to “Rules and laws,” then “Proposed rules.” Or call 503-947-7449. Direct link available here.

To comment by mail: Department of Consumer and Business Services/Oregon OSHA; P.O. Box 14480, Salem, OR 97309

Email – tech.web@oregon.gov

Fax – 503-947-7461

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.oregon.gov/dcbs/.  


ODFW: Big game tag auctions rescheduled and now bid-by-phone due to COVID-19

March 19, 2020

SALEM, Ore. – Several Oregon big game tag auctions are being rescheduled from original dates currently printed in the 2020 Big Game Regulations.

The Lewis and Clark chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) has rescheduled their auction for a Statewide Deer Tag for Friday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m., (from original date of March 14). The live auction will be bid-by-phone only. Hunters wishing to bid on the deer tag should contact Jeremy Coburn, of SCI at (702) 622-7664 prior to the auction. 

The Oregon Hunters Association Mid-Willamette Chapter’s auction of a Statewide Elk Tag will still occur on April 4 at 8:30 p.m., but the event will be bid-by-phone only. Those hunters wishing to bid should contact Bryan Cook at (971) 270-7035 prior to the auction.

The Oregon Bowhunters event has rescheduled their auction for the Rocky Mountain Goat Tag to Friday, May 8, 2020 at 7:00 p.m., (from original date of March 14). The live auction will be bid-by-phone only and will be live streamed by Oregon Bowhunters for the public to view.  Hunters wishing to bid on the Rocky Mountain Goat Tag should contact Wayne Endicott, of OBH at (541) 556-7039 or (541) 746-9711 by 6:00 p.m., on May 8 to register for the auction.

National Wild Turkey Federation Central Oregon Chapter’s April 4 auction of a Statewide Deer Tag has been rescheduled for May 23 at 7:00 p.m. The live auction will be bid-by-phone only. Hunters wishing to participate should contact Jason Preston at (541) 693-4597 prior to the auction.

For other remaining auctions, see the regulations for a contact and be sure to express your interest in bidding prior to the auction.

All funds raised by Big Game Auction and Raffle tags directly fund big game management, big game research, and habitat and hunter access projects. All auction and raffle tags are in addition to controlled and general season tags. Any weapon legal for that species may be used.


OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY ASKS OREGONIANS TO SHARE THEIR PERSONAL REFLECTIONS DURING PANDEMIC

Portland, OR – How do we stay connected and rooted in community while practicing social distancing? What is the role of cultural institutions during this unprecedented time?

Like many museums and attractions that have closed in response to the COVID-19 virus, the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) will be largely moving online, sharing Oregon history virtually through social media, blogging, and our digital platforms like the Oregon EncyclopediaOHS Digital Collections, and online curriculum. At the same time, as the repository of Oregon’s history, OHS has a responsibility to record this moment for future generations – a moment that practically no one on earth has experienced in their lifetime.

That is why the Oregon Historical Society is asking you to share your stories: your personal reflections on living through this pandemic. In this period of isolation from friends and family, what stories of Oregonians from the past or present are giving you courage? How are you spending your days in this strange new “normal?” What have you learned about yourself, your friends, or your family, that is giving you strength amidst chaos?

The Oregon Historical Society invites community members to share their personal reflections by submitting a letter through an online form or by mailing a handwritten note to the OHS Research Library (1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205). All written and electronic submissions must include the author’s full name, location (city, town, or reservation), and the date.

“Some of the most priceless treasures in the Oregon Historical Society collections are the handwritten diaries and journals of individuals who made their way across the Oregon Trail. As we persevere through this new uncharted trail, we invite Oregonians to document their thoughts and experiences and to share them with OHS, so we, in turn, can share them with future generations,” said Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk.

While we are lucky to have technology to stay connected during this time of social isolation, sometimes, pen and paper is best – it is of course the letters, journals, scrapbooks, and photographs that the OHS Research Library has collected for decades that students, educators, researchers, authors, filmmakers, and many more use each day as they discover stories from our past. In the coming weeks, staff will send letters to OHS members for whom there is no email address on file, asking them to mail back their stories. Those staff whose regular job duties have been disrupted by the public closure are eager to support this outreach, ready to mail letters from home.

“We all recognize the need to check in on our family, friends, and neighbors,” says Tymchuk, “and our staff asked how they could reach out to our members and others who might be feeling isolated. We hope this is a project that will bring a bit of connection, reflection, and hope.”

OHS encourages families to participate in this project as well, as a way to add to the historical record during this time of school interruptions. In the coming days, we will be reaching out with more resources for learning at home, including inviting students grades 6-12 to participate in a virtual Oregon History Day contest later this spring.

The Oregon Historical Society will add a selection of the stories and reflections submitted by mail and online to the OHS Research Library collections, where future generations will go to understand what this unprecedented moment in Oregon history was really like.  


About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms, educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all.We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon’s cannot be contained within a single story or point of view.


OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY OFFICES OFFERING PUBLIC SERVICES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY STARTING MARCH 23

SALEM, Ore. -- In an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon and protect employees and the public, the Oregon Department of Forestry will be changing the way it provides services at its main office in Salem and field offices statewide starting Monday, March 23. Offices will remain open and can be reached by phone during regular business hours, but in-person interactions between staff and the public will be by appointment only.

ODF is committed to providing important services to Oregonians while reducing the risk of exposure for customers and employees. Because many ODF offices are not configured in a manner to allow for social distancing, this approach will help mitigate that risk without substantively affecting service delivery. We appreciate the public’s patience as we strive to continue providing important services during this unprecedented disruption to daily life.

Some services, such as filing notifications through the Forest Activity Electronic Reporting and Notification System (FERNS), can be completed online by visiting www.oregon.gov/odf and clicking “E-Notification.” For services that require interaction with an ODF office, staff will try to help by phone. If in-person discussion or assistance is necessary, please set up an appointment by calling your local office.  A map of local offices can be found at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/AboutODF/Pages/MapOffices.aspx


Greg Walden Calls on Healthy Americans to  Donate Blood 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Representative Greg Walden released a statement in response to the American Red Cross's severe blood shortage:

“Even during the coronavirus outbreak, people in our communities and across the country who have an emergency or are battling cancer or other diseases still rely on donations of lifesaving blood. Our blood supply is facing shortages; we need to step up and donate. It is still safe and there are extra precautions to ensure the health of everyone involved, so I encourage healthy individuals to please donate blood,” said Walden.

Currently, as a result of an unprecedented number of blood drives being cancelled during the COVID-19 outbreak, the American Red Cross is suffering from a severe shortage in blood supply.  The American Red Cross has taken measures to ensure that donating blood remains a safe process for health individuals.

Healthy individuals interested in giving blood are encouraged to make an appointment to do so at a local Red Cross facility. You can learn more and schedule and appointment here.

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