Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline

SALEM — With Halloween a week away, it’s not hard to find gravestones adorning local lawns. But Amy Vandegrift’s yard is more memorial than festive adornment. Read more

VALE — Four classes at Vale Elementary School have been suspended because four staff and one student have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to Alisha McBride, Vale School District superintendent. Read more

LA GRANDE — The annual Nov. 11 La Grande Veterans Day Parade has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

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If high schools in Eastern Oregon resume competitive events in 2021, the teams might seek to limit their opponents to relatively nearby schools to reduce travel and make it easier to comply with COVID-19 precautions. Read more

ISLAND CITY — To walk on to Island City Elementary School’s campus on Wednesdays is to almost step back back in time seven months to the pre COVID-19 era. Read more

ELGIN — The game soon will be afoot at the Elgin Opera House. Read more

LA GRANDE — The Grande Ronde Symphony’s concert Oct. 3 reached more than 700 people, showcasing the success of holding virtual performances. Read more

SALEM — The Oregon Health Authority’s latest face covering guidelines require masks, face coverings or face shields in all workplaces, indoor public spaces, outdoor businesses and in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible. Read more

PORTLAND — A vacant Greyhound bus station in downtown Portland will be opened temporarily as a homeless shelter. Read more

CORVALLIS — A Corvallis woman pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide on Thursday, Oct. 22, in Polk County Circuit Court for a 2019 car crash that killed her teenage daughter. Read more

CORVALLIS — The obsolescence of humans is upon us. Read more

OMAHA, Neb. — Nebraska will never be mistaken for a swing state given that it hasn’t supported a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964, but if the race is close this fall, the state could have a key role in choosing the next president. Read more

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PORTLAND —Oregon Health Authority reported the state experienced an spike in opioid overdose deaths this past spring compared to last year, and public health experts believe use of illicit fentanyl and methamphetamine is driving the increase. Read more

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WASHINGTON — Their final debate behind them, President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are packaging their divergent personal styles and policy prescriptions into closing messages for the final sprint to Election Day. Read more

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UNION COUNTY — The Oregon Health Authority on Thursday, Oct. 22, reported Union County has six new cases of coronavirus. Read more

ST. PAUL — Mark Anderson, owner of Champoeg Farm in St. Paul, called to his flock of pasture-raised, broad-breasted white turkeys as he approached the fence. The toms replied with a throaty jumble of gobbling. Read more

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SALEM — State health officials could distribute the first doses of COVID-19 vaccinations as early as the end of this month if it’s approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Read more

LA GRANDE — Local doctors and public health are hopeful the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 will deliver similar benefits as the flu season takes flight. Read more

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WALLOWA COUNTY — Wallowa County had a second death attributed to COVID-19 reported in the Saturday, Oct. 17, update from the Oregon Health Authority. Read more

SUMMERVILLE — Blacksmithing is one of the oldest trades in the world, yet few people are part of it. Summerville resident Peter Clark is working on getting the next generation of blacksmiths ready. Read more

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The fight against COVID-19 is being undercut by precaution fatigue, willful ignorance and mixed messages between health officials in Oregon and Washington, D.C. Read more

SALEM — Though the coronavirus outbreak is expected to disrupt some aspects of the holiday season, that’s not necessarily a bad omen for Christmas tree farmers. Read more

LA GRANDE — La Grande youths this year will have to go without trick-or-treating at residence halls at Eastern Oregon University. Read more

ENTERPRISE — The city of Enterprise received $58,350.77 from the federal Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund to address unforeseen financial needs and risks created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced at the Monday, Oct. 12, city council meeting. Read more

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LA GRANDE — If the prescriptions in your medicine cabinet have expired or you have other unwanted medications, the La Grande Police Department is offering you a place to safely leave these drugs on Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Read more

SALEM — The Oregon Health Authority reported 909 new and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the span of two days. Read more

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ELGIN — An Elgin School District staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Cook Memorial Library patrons will be able to step foot in the library Oct. 19. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — A survey of Oregon farmworkers indicates a majority of farms are taking precautions for COVID-19, but conditions in the fields and at home can make it difficult for workers to avoid exposure to the virus. Read more

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UNION COUNTY — Close to 250 of the La Grande School District’s youngest students are no longer going online each weekday morning and afternoon for classes. Instead they are getting in line — for recess and school bus rides. Read more

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ELGIN — Elgin School District Superintendent Diane Greif announced an employee of the district has tested positive for coronavirus. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The COVID-19 pandemic will not prevent La Grande tree enthusiasts from reaching the century mark this year, thanks to members of the city’s Community Landscape and Forestry Commission. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon has completed initial COVID-19 testing of staff and consenting residents in 683 long-term care facilities statewide. Read more

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PENDLETON — A staff member at Sunridge Middle School, Pendleton, has tested positive for COVID-19, Pendleton School District Superintendent Chris Fritsch said in an Tuesday, Oct. 6, interview. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon will receive up to 80,000 rapid COVID-19 tests per week from the federal government, doubling its testing abilities and allowing people who don’t show any symptoms of the virus to be tested. Read more

SALEM — Oregonians who need to take the driving test to get a driver’s license have to pay to go through a third-party, according to the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services. Read more

LA GRANDE — The number of COVID-19 cases in Oregon dropped month-over-month for the second month in a row. The Oregon Health Authority reported fewer than 7,000 new cases in September and less than 100 deaths attributed to the virus. Read more

PENDLETON — Gov. Kate Brown announced a second round of early releases for individuals incarcerated in Oregon prisons who are medically vulnerable to COVID-19 or within two months of release on Tuesday, Sept. 29, this time commuting the sentences of 66 people. Read more

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LA GRANDE — After a record-breaking 212 days, Grande Ronde Hospital announced in a press release Thursday, Oct. 1, it was stepping down its internal COVID-19 measures. Read more

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WASHINGTON — The White House said Friday, Oct. 2, that President Donald Trump was suffering “mild symptoms” of COVID-19, making the stunning announcement after he returned from an afternoon fundraiser without telling the crowd he had been exposed to an aide with the disease that has killed a… Read more

LA GRANDE — Grande Ronde Hospital and Clinics in La Grande lost about $3.9 million in the first quarter, according to the Oregon Health Authority’s hospital financial data. Read more

LA GRANDE — The atmosphere at Island City Elementary School, La Grande, is ticking up a beat — and for good reason. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon lawmakers 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

LA GRANDE — Violinist Viet Block was eager to perform again for the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra, even if COVID-19 restrictions prevented playing in front of a live audience. Read more

LA GRANDE — Community Connection of Northeast Oregon hosted a pop-up food pantry for college students Sept. 21 during Eastern Oregon University's mass testing event. Read more

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LA GRANDE — All La Grande School District students in kindergarten through third grade will be able to begin attending on-site classes starting Monday, Oct. 5. Read more

ONTARIO — The coronavirus continues to spread through the Snake River Correctional Institution, with the number of inmates infected almost doubling in the past 30 days. Read more

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LA GRANDE — La Grande Parks and Recreation beginning Wednesday, Sept. 30, is expanding the recreation swim times at Veterans’ Memorial Pool. Read more

LA GRANDE — Results from a mass testing event of all on-campus Eastern Oregon University students ahead of the upcoming school year showed that seven students of the close to 900 tested positive for COVID-19, the university announced in a press release Thursday, Sept. 24. Read more

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UNION COUNTY — Five arts and culture organizations in Union County and eight in Wallowa County are getting some COVID-19 relief funding. Read more

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NORTH POWDER — Powder Valley High School is again whole. Read more

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UNION COUNTY — The Eastern Oregon Community Resource Network is connecting those in Eastern Oregon with the resources they need, according to the Building Healthy Families Executive Director Maria Weer. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The Grande Ronde Symphony is going virtual for its first presentation during the COVID-19 era. Read more

LA GRANDE — For the first time in more than a week, Union County has new COVID-19 cases. Read more

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LA GRANDE — New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a small percentage of the nation's known COVID-19 deaths list the disease as the only cause, while the vast majority of people who have died with the disease had multiple additional underlying conditions. Read more

PORTLAND — Several Oregon businesses have threatened a class action lawsuit against the state over COVID-19 restrictions implemented by Gov. Kate Brown to slow the pandemic. A lawyer representing the businesses argues that Oregon officials should draft a plan to compensate small business own… Read more

PENDLETON — COVID-19 turned Sept. 18 in Pendleton into just another Friday rather than the Friday of Round-Up week. Read more

SALEM — 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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UNION COUNTY — The Union County Safe Communities Coalition has teamed up with local restaurants to offer select discounts to celebrate “National Family Day” on Saturday, Sept. 26. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Mask-wearing students began to move into campus dorms at Eastern Oregon University, La Grande, in preparation for the fall quarter classes starting Wednesday, Sept. 23. Read more

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus topped 200,000 Tuesday, Sept. 22, by far the highest in the world, hitting the once-unimaginable threshold six weeks before an election that is certain to be a referendum in part on President Donald Trump's handling of the crisis. Read more

LA GRANDE — Central Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization is working on fundraising to fulfill the four goals it set for the school year: promoting reading, encouraging outdoor activities and exercise use, showing school spirit and talking about diversity. Read more

SALEM — Oregon workers who need to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19 can now apply for financial support through a new program launching this week. Read more

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SALEM — The Oregon Health Authority on Friday, Sept. 18, reported modeling suggests the possibility that fewer Oregonians may become infected in coming weeks. Read more

PENDLETON — Two Eastern Oregon counties made progress in the long road of recovering from the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, Sept. 18. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center is holding its Girls in Science program virtually for 2020. Read more

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LA GRANDE — La Grande High School students enrolled in an online language arts class received a jolt. Read more

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UNION COUNTY — Powder Valley High School in North Powder is about to return to normalcy. Read more

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WALLOWA COUNTY — The Oregon Health Authority on Wednesday, Sept. 16, reported a cluster of six new cases of COVID-19 in Wallowa County. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Enrollment in school districts outside of La Grande in Union County is up from a year ago. The county’s largest district, though, has 2,247 students, down about 100 from the same time a year ago. Read more

PENDLETON — The sun sat high in the smoke-filled Pendleton sky early Sunday, Sept. 13, by the time participants in the Pendleton Round-Up’s Indian Village began assembling this year’s village. Read more

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SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday, Sept. 16, announced a new program to provide masks and gloves to small businesses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

LA GRANDE — The construction crew working on the Putnam Building in downtown La Grande is taking up parking spaces without a permit. Read more

UNION COUNTY — The Center for Human Development is encouraging Union County residents to get a flu shot in preparation for the upcoming flu season. Read more

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WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Local veterans with questions about health care can get some answers Monday by picking up their phones. Read more

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UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County is back to Phase 2 of reopening effective immediately. Read more

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LA GRANDE — As with most everything in 2020, La Grande’s annual end-of-summer block party was different this year. Read more

ELGIN — The Elgin Opera House has not held a rehearsal since March 13 for its upcoming production of “Matilda.” Read more

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It has been almost six months since our restaurant closed for indoor dining, and there does not appear to be a clear path to a safe reopening. Read more

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It was a busy Taco Tuesday at Midnight Sun Brewing Co. in Anchorage, Alaska — a blessing these days at any restaurant — when a guy at a table with three buddies wanted to chat with their waitress. Read more

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ELGIN — The doors to Elgin’s past will be unlocked this weekend. Read more

LA GRANDE — Art Center East, La Grande, has had to rework its programming in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its fundraising. To bring art and outdoor fitness together at home, the center revised its annual 5K Color Run fundraiser into a virtual event for September. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Oregon is closing in on the kind of COVID-19 numbers the state hasn’t seen in three months. Read more

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AstraZeneca’s suspension of final testing of its potential COVID-19 vaccine while it investigates a volunteer’s illness shows there will be “no compromises” on safety in developing the shots, the chief of the National Institutes of Health told Congress on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Read more

LA GRANDE — Union and Baker county residents who receive their television signals from the Blue Mountain Translator District soon will be closer to the emergency pulses of their communities. Read more

LA GRANDE — The Eastern Oregon Film Festival on Wednesday, Sept. 2, announced its selections for its 2020 season. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — The timing of when Umatilla County will be permitted to move back to Phase 2 of reopening is up in the air after the state denied its appeal last week. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oregon was lower during the month of August after there were close to 10,000 cases in July, but the number of deaths reported in the month was at its highest mark. Read more

UNION COUNTY — Almost three dozen people signed up for the Union County Safe Communities Coalition's virtual run during August to raise money for drug and alcohol education programs, and 15 finished their races. Read more

PENDLETON — Connor Cary clicked on the email with a sense of trepidation. Read more

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BEND — The Bend restaurant owner who removed and destroyed social distancing signs has pleaded guilty to violating Gov. Kate Brown’s stay-at-home executive order and agreed to serve a penalty heavy on community service. Read more

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UNION COUNTY — A sense of normalcy returned to many school districts in Union County Monday. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The La Grande School District is starting the new school year where it ended the last one in terms of it food service program, which is good news for local families. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon will stay under the COVID-19 state of emergency in place since March until Nov. 3, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday, Sept. 1. Read more

LA GRANDE — The small schools of Union and Wallowa counties have a joint plan for sports during the Oregon School Activities Association’s Season 1. Read more

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LA GRANDE — A four-block portion of La Grande’s O Avenue will resemble some Seattle neighborhoods in a special way for 45 minutes the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 2. Read more

LA GRANDE — Fans of the British science fiction series Doctor Who may see a familiar blue police box on the front lawn of a home on Oak Street, La Grande. Read more

FAIRBANKS — The University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey team and other student athletes are in quarantine or isolation after athletes tested positive for COVID-19 following an off-campus party, administrators said. Read more

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