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School Campuses Closed for the Year

School Campuses Closed for the Year

Gov. Brown's new order means online learning is the name of the game—though access issues continue
Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday that public school campuses will remain closed through the end of the school year, in a continued effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Brown's earlier order had schools closed only through the end of April.

Are We Flattening the Curve?

When will quarantine end? What's with the under-testing? And other questions for Deschutes County's health services director
The health services director for Deschutes County,  Dr. George Conway, spent some time with me this afternoon. Conway has been the head of the local public health response to COVID-19.

We Asked Local Groceries About Their Mask Policies. Here's Each Store's Response.

With local health departments recommending mask wearing, we wanted to know where local grocery stores stand
How is your local grocery store helping protect its workers? We wanted to find out.

For Seniors, Isolation and Health Risks Can Hit Hard

Hotlines, meal delivery and social support: How organizations in Central Oregon are reaching out to older people
For older people living alone in Central Oregon, social distancing is both necessary and dangerous. People over 65 are considered at the highest risk of hospitalization and are more likely to die from COVID-19. Following strict social-distancing guidelines could be a life-saver.

Fundraiser Targets Those Left Out of Stimulus

Central Oregonians launch campaign to offer assistance to support undocumented and mixed-status families (incluye recursos en Español)
A group of Central Oregonians is working to provide support to those who won't be seeing that $1,200 check promised to Americans as part of the CARES Act. According to information published on the web page of Embrace Bend—a group aimed at dismantling white supremacy, it, and another group, Mecca Bend—described, in Spanish, as a "Directorio Digital para Latinos de Central Oregon," have created a Mutual Aid group aimed at offering support for those who may not have access to resources other Americans do, including unemployment benefits, stimulus funds, small business loans or other assistance.  

It's Official: Central Oregon Health Departments Recommend Wearing Masks

Hand sew 'em. Make 'em out of t-shirts. Buy one from a pro.
Many Central Oregonians have been hard at work in recent weeks, sewing masks to bolster the supplies for local health care workers. With today's announcement from the health departments in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties, recommending that everyone wear masks in public, that public mask-making is going to see an uptick.

Rapid Testing Could Ease Social Distancing. But Getting the Kits to Do So? Another Story.

A Bend test kit distributor describes his challenges importing at-home test kits
New test kits arrive to the U.S. every day from China that can confirm the presence of coronavirus antibodies in just 15 minutes. Here in Bend, a business owner who sells other types of test kits is getting into the business of coronavirus testing. Bendite Jeremy Parker runs ToxTests, a company that sells test kits that can quickly detect if a person has alcohol, opioids, marijuana and nearly a dozen other drugs in their system.

Why Can't I Get Tested?

A Bend woman shares her saga of trying to get a coronavirus test in Central Oregon
Nicole Moore has been sick with symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus for two and a half weeks. She’s requested COVID-19 tests from three separate physicians, and has been told three times that she can't be tested because she isn't over 65 years old and doesn't have a compromised immune system.

Out of Work? You're Not Alone

Unemployment filings skyrocket—but on the flip side, local professor believes recovery could happen quickly in Central Oregon
People who work in restaurants, tourism and retail were the first to lose their jobs in both in Central Oregon and across the country, due to the coronavirus pandemic. As the Oregon Employment Department struggles to keep up with thousands of new daily claims, the layoffs continue.

Bend Cultural Tourism Grants On Hold

With tourism revenues at an all-time low, Visit Bend cuts grants to cultural organizations and nonprofits
Visit Bend formally announced Thursday that it's placing a hold on future Bend Cultural Tourism Fund grants—a significant funding source for some of the most-visible events and artistic endeavors in Central Oregon. The fund is supported through a transient room tax on hotels and vacation rentals, and due to social distancing measures—and restrictions from the city and state—TRT collections are at an all-time low.

April 1 is Census Day. Did You Make It Count?

An accurate population count brings in billions in federal funding to Oregon. And it only takes 10 minutes
Every 10 years, the federal government embarks on a nationwide people-counting project. It started in 1790 and is required by the U.S. Constitution.

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