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Oregon coronavirus updates May 21: State leaders urge people to spend Memorial Day weekend at home

As COVID-19 continues to impact Oregon and Southwest Washington, get the latest updates here.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Cases of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus, began popping up in the United States in January. The first case in Oregon was reported on Feb. 28.

We post a new blog post every day that tracks the daily changes in Oregon and Southwest Washington as we get them. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST UPDATES


As of Thursday night:


11:15 p.m.

“We want this Memorial Day weekend to be quiet, slow and safe,” said Astoria Mayor Bruce Jones. He is one of 26 mayors from cities across Oregon who joined Governor Kate Brown in asking Oregonians to stay local over Memorial Day weekend. Learn more

6:40 p.m.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a 60-page report outlining detailed guidelines for schools, restaurants and mass transit systems looking to reopen, as many states move to ease coronavirus restrictions. Learn more
  • A temporary rule allowing people to potentially pump their own gas at Oregon stations where it’s typically prohibited comes to an end this weekend. Learn more
  • Washington state officials announced Thursday that Cowlitz County was eligible to apply to move into Phase 2 of the Gov. Jay Inslee's four-phase reopening plan. Learn more

6:10 p.m.

  • Several Oregon communities will authorize short-term rentals like hotels, Airbnb and more after Memorial Day weekend, but city leaders say it's not an invitation for tourists to visit. Learn more

5:15 p.m.

  • Portland bike shops are reporting an increase in business during the pandemic. Traffic has decreased and cyclists said the need for exercise in a socially distant manner have brought them out on the roads. Learn more

5 p.m.

  • KGW spoke with 59 applicants of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program in Oregon. Many of the jobless workers expressed both frustration and confusion. Of the 59 self-employed workers who joined KGW for a Zoom interview, only one had received benefits. Learn more
  • The Oregon Health Authority announced another person has died from COVID-19, bringing the state’s death toll up to 145 people. Another 24 new cases were confirmed. Learn more

3:40 p.m.

  • The Oregon Employment Department announced Thursday it is now providing benefits through the CARES Act Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. PEUC is a 13-week extension of unemployment insurance benefits for people who have run out of regular benefits. Learn more
  • The Oregon Air National Guard will continue flyovers Friday and Memorial Day to honor health care workers, first responders and other essential workers. Learn more  

2:20 p.m.

  • A man incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary who tested positive for the coronavirus has died, marking what could be the first known coronavirus-related death in the state’s prison system. A medical examiner will determine his cause of death. Learn more
  • Spirit Mountain Casino and Lodge in Grand Ronde will reopen on June 1. Masks will be required for people playing table games and strongly encouraged for all guests.

1:30 p.m.

  • The city of Hillsboro plans to open the following outdoor areas on Saturday: Dog parks, tennis and pickleball courts, Reedville Creek Skate Park, Orchard Park Disc Golf Course and the Rood Bridge Park watercraft launch. Learn more

12:25 p.m.

  • Gov. Kate Brown and a group of 26 mayors from across Oregon are calling on everyone in the state to “keep it local” and stay in their own communities this Memorial Day weekend to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn more

7:30 a.m.

  • Seaside approved a motion Wednesday night to reopen lodging beginning May 26. Hotels and vacation homes will be allowed to go to 100% occupancy. The decision was confirmed during this live-streamed meeting.

Wednesday's top stories

  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's office announced Marion and Polk counties, which were not allowed to reopen last week after failing to meet certain prerequisites, will be able move into the first phase of reopening on Friday. Learn more
  • Multnomah County leaders discussed the county's progress on contact tracing, testing, PPE and other metrics at a meeting, but a county spokesperson told KGW it has no date set yet to submit for Phase 1 of reopening. Learn more
  • Clackamas County filed its application to enter Phase 1 of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's reopening plan on Tuesday night. A Washington County official told KGW it will apply on Friday with a goal of entering Phase 1 on June 1. Learn more
  • A Keizer woman says she's spent the past 72 days battling COVID-19. Chelsea Alionar, a 37-year-old who has no underlying health conditions, has been dealing with waves of COVID-19 symptoms since early March. Learn more
  • The organization that oversees high school sports in Oregon has laid out guidance to administrators, coaches, parents and students about what a return to workouts should look like amid the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more
  • Oregon is expected to lose $10.5 billion in revenue over the next five years, according to the official revenue forecast released by the state. Learn more

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