Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline

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LA GRANDE — The La Grande High School volleyball team has postponed several games and withdrawn from two upcoming tournaments due to COVID-19 cases within the team. Read more

PORTLAND — One in five Oregon adults say they are not planning to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new survey of Oregonians by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center. Read more

​Oregon's record wave of COVID-19 cases appears to have crested, but the long recovery will likely stretch into the winter holiday season. Read more

SALEM — The newest COVID-19 modeling shows Oregon hospitals may be full with COVID-19 patients for another six weeks. Read more

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BAKER CITY — A 32-year-old Baker City man who pleaded guilty in June to receiving a $145,200 federal COVID-19 relief loan on behalf of a fictitious company and then using the money for personal purposes, including buying a $49,000 car, was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison on Thursday… Read more

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SALEM — The Oregon Health Authority on Thursday, Sept. 16, reported four new COVID-19 deaths in Wallowa County, bringing the total during the pandemic to 10. Three of the deaths were from cases during the most-recent surge of the virus, which started in July, and a fourth was from earlier in the year.  Read more

LA GRANDE — The Union County Board of Commissioners, in an effort to better position itself to deal with a looming crisis, passed a resolution declaring an emergency due to the likelihood the county will soon be suffering a staffing shortage of health care and public safety workers. Read more

LA GRANDE — National Guard members have arrived at many Eastern Oregon hospitals as the COVID-19 pandemic reaches its apex in recent cases caused by the virulent delta variant. Read more

SALEM — The Oregon Health Authority announced 40 new cases of COVID-19 in Union County, according to a Wednesday, Sept. 15, press release. Read more

LA GRANDE — The Union County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution stating concern for the foreseeable future regarding an insufficient amount of qualified local staff to continue to provide basic public health and safety services to the citizens of Union County. Read more

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HERMISTON — The Eastern Oregon Economic Summit has been postponed until June 2022 due to the continued surge of the delta variant of COVID-19 and to facilitate full participation by attendees, panelists and speakers. Read more

SALEM — Leaders of the Oregon School Boards Association recently admonished school board members across the state to uphold their oaths of office and follow all laws, even those they disagree with. Read more

UNION COUNTY — La Grande Fire Chief Emmitt Cornford, like many people, isn’t looking forward to Monday, Oct. 18. Read more

UNION COUNTY — The firing of Adrian School District Superintendent Kevin Purnell by his school board on Monday, Aug. 30, dismayed area school leaders. Read more

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SALEM — Union County recorded 70 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Read more

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PORTLAND — With COVID cases surging in Idaho's panhandle and hospitals there exceeding capacity, the state of Idaho recently activated its crisis standards of care. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The COVID-19 pandemic has La Grande School District officials worried about the possibility of needing significantly more substitute staff later this school year. Read more

ADRIAN — The Adrian School District will pay former superintendent Kevin Purnell more than $100,000 as part of the settlement he signed when being terminated last week. Read more

PORTLAND — More than 7.5 million Americans no longer have access to supplemental unemployment benefits from the federal government, and in Oregon, tens of thousands of people stand to lose money. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Enterprise isn’t the largest town in Eastern Oregon, with a population of 2,052. But it’s just a few miles from the ever-popular town of Joseph and its vistas across Wallowa Lake to the peaks of the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Read more

ENTERPRISE — Statewide, hospitals have been near or even at their capacity, with more than 1,100 people in Oregon hospitalized due to coronavirus and the state exceeding 90% capacity. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Union County has reported nearly 200 COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, showing signs that cases are beginning to lull slightly from peak totals in mid-August. Read more

Add Kentucky bluegrass seed to the list of eligible commodities under the USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.  Read more

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WALLOWA COUNTY — As the latest surge of coronavirus hits Wallowa County, few businesses have been forced to close but there is a renewed interest in requiring face masks and sanitizing business premises. Read more

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SALEM — Schools should cancel or curtail some extracurricular activities to help Oregon maintain what appears to be the beginning of a decline from record high numbers of COVID-19 infections, Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday, Sept. 7. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The Oregon Health Authority reported 54 deaths from COVID-19 and 5,821 new confirmed and presumptive cases in Oregon between Friday, Sept. 3, and Monday, Sept. 6. The most recent report for Tuesday showed another 2,352 cases and 47 deaths.  Read more

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Oregon is considering a digital “vaccine passport” that enables people to demonstrate electronically they have been inoculated against COVID-19, according to records the state provided to The Oregonian. Read more

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BEND — With record job growth in Oregon, Whitney Keatman never imagined she would have problems finding workers for her Scott Street location of Sparrow Bakery. Read more

LA GRANDE — Eastern Oregon sheriff’s offices reaffirmed they would not enforce the mask mandates Gov. Kate Brown set in place. As well, a number of sheriffs across Eastern Oregon, including in Baker and Union counties, have addressed the matter in letters to the governor stating they will no… Read more

UNION COUNTY — In what felt like a somewhat normal summer, many local events returned to Northeastern Oregon after being canceled in 2020. However, as Union and Wallowa counties experienced record high COVID-19 cases in August, many late-summer and early-fall events have been canceled or modified. Read more

PORTLAND — Oregon officials say unvaccinated people accounted for more than 84% of the state's recent COVID-19 cases. Read more

LA GRANDE — The La Grande area experienced slightly warmer than normal temperatures during the month of August, according to preliminary data received by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service Office in Pendleton. Read more

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JOHN DAY — Health leaders in Grant and Harney counties cite fears of worker shortages as the virus surges among unvaccinated people. Read more

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EUGENE — The University of Oregon and Oregon State University announced on Wednesday, Sept. 1, that they are requiring weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated students and employees. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The La Grande City Council passed a resolution declaring a state of emergency at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The Union County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution on Wednesday, Sept. 1, protesting the statewide mandate requiring all teachers, school staff, school volunteers, health care workers and state employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Read more

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ADRIAN — Kevin Purnell was fired Monday as superintendent of the Adrian School District just one week after students returned to school. Read more

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PORTLAND — During Oregon’s ongoing COVID-19 surge, doctors say that they are seeing sicker and younger patients than at any other point throughout the pandemic. Read more

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SALEM — Jobs in restaurants and taverns frequently sit at the bottom end of the pay scale, with waiters, line cooks and bartenders sometimes treated as easily replaceable — and paid accordingly. Read more

LA GRANDE — In difficult times, a community-based organization is providing some relief to families impacted by COVID-19. Read more

SALEM — Oregon health officials have seen an increase in children with COVID-19 cases severe enough to require hospitalization and said it mirrors a national trend. State health officials said nine babies, toddlers or preschoolers were hospitalized in Oregon this week according to the state, plus one child aged 6 to 11 and one child aged 12 to 17. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Vaccination rates across most Eastern Oregon rose nearly 3% as the delta variant of COVID-19 surges in the nation. According to Oregon Health Authority data, more than 98% of all new COVID-19 infections are from the delta variant. Read more

BEND — The death toll from COVID-19 in Oregon is climbing so rapidly in some counties that the state has organized delivery of one refrigerated truck to hold the bodies and is sending a second one, the state emergency management department said Saturday, Aug. 28. Read more

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A handful of Oregon sheriffs are seizing on the state’s latest COVID mandates to proclaim their opposition to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown and repeat the false claim that sheriffs’ powers to protect people’s constitutional and “God given rights” supersede the authority of the state and federal government. Read more

LA GRANDE — As cases of COVID-19 continued to rise in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown on Aug. 13 issued an emergency order to deploy nearly 1,500 Oregon National Guard soldiers throughout the state to help support hospitals. Read more

PORTLAND — Conspiracy theories about a parasite drug are making people sick in Oregon, according to Oregon Health & Science University. Read more

The COVID-19 spike that began in July should peak soon after Labor Day and begin a two-month decline in infections, hospitalizations and deaths, according to a new state forecast. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County reported four new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, Aug. 25, setting a new pandemic record for deaths reported in a single day. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The Oregon Health Authority announced 13 new COVID-19 cases in Union County in its report from Thursday, Aug. 26, and 15 new cases Friday, Aug. 27. Wallowa County recorded eight new cases both days. Read more

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SALEM — Millions of U.S. households, including more than 600,000 Oregon families, received payments last month through an expansion of the federal child tax credit. Read more

SALEM — The Oregon Department of Corrections has been ground zero for some of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 across the state throughout the duration of the pandemic. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s announcement on Tuesday, Aug. 24, that the state would restore its outdoor mask mandate in many public settings will have an impact locally. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Grande Ronde Hospital and Clinics announced the activation of its Hospital Incident Command System on Tuesday, Aug. 24, as a result of the recent COVID-19 surge. Read more

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SALEM — The Oregon Health Authority reported 15 new COVID-19 cases in Union County on Tuesday, Aug. 24, alongside four positive tests in Wallowa County. On Wednesday, Aug. 25, there were an additional 30 cases in Union County and five in Wallowa County.  Read more

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LA GRANDE — The Pendleton football team’s season opener Sept. 2, at La Grande has been canceled because of COVID-19 precautions. Read more

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SALEM — Political redistricting hearings around the state next month have been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, legislative leaders announced Monday, Aug. 23. Read more

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SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown has expanded a mandatory mask order to include large outdoor gatherings as well as indoor gatherings. Read more

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JOSEPH — For the second year in a row, Oregon’s Alpenfest has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

LA GRANDE — Where you live has a significant impact on your likelihood of contracting COVID-19, according to analytics from multiple mathematical tools developed to track regional data across the United States. Read more

UNION COUNTY — The COVID-19 vaccine mandate for educators Gov. Kate Brown issued Thursday, Aug. 19, due to spiking infection rates, has local educators expressing concern about their colleagues, speaking of the value of common sense and recounting the American Revolutionary War. Read more

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UNION COUNTY — Five former members of school boards in Union County have differing views on Gov. Kate Brown’s school mask mandate. Read more

LA GRANDE — Union County had 78 new cases of COVID-19 that came in over the weekend, the Oregon Health Authority reported Monday, Aug. 23, bringing the county's overall total to 2,180. There were no new deaths reported by the OHA, with the county total of COVID-19 related deaths currently at 30. Read more

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SALEM — Facing a sharp surge in COVID-19 infections that threatens to swamp Oregon hospitals, Gov. Kate Brown ordered a double dose Thursday, Aug. 19, of mandatory vaccination mandates. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Beds and staff. Those are the two things hospitals are short on during the pandemic. Read more

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PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich said Thursday, Aug. 19, that he intends to follow a new state mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all those working at the state’s colleges and universities, including coaches. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The Oregon Health Authority reported 64 more cases of COVID-19 in Union County on Thursday, Aug. 19, and 17 cases on Friday, Aug. 20, among more than 5,000 new cases reported in the state those two days. The county total is up to 2,103. Read more

SALEM — Oregonians with compromised immune systems appear to be at the front of the line to receive booster shots against COVID-19 as part of a nationwide push to prolong immunity in the battle against the highly contagious delta variant. Read more

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SALEM — All Oregon health care workers and K-12 school employees and volunteers will be required to get fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus to keep their jobs, Gov. Kate Brown announced Thursday, Aug. 19. Read more

SALEM — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wrote a letter to school superintendents and board members throughout the state Monday, Aug. 16, standing by her decision to require face coverings in K-12 classrooms and asking for their cooperation. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon added 20,000 jobs in July and the state’s jobless rate dropped from 5.6% to 5.2%, the steepest monthly decline in nearly a year. Read more

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Wallowa County had four more new cases of COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority reported on Tuesday, Aug. 17, including the 300th case in the county since the start of the pandemic. The county is now at 301 cases. Read more

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IMBLER — The Imbler School Board met on Tuesday, Aug. 17, to further discuss its Ready Schools, Safe Learners Plan for the 2021 school year. Read more

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PORTLAND — The Ninth Circuit Court on Monday, Aug. 16, decided the Oregon State Hospital must again admit certain patients within seven days, overturning a federal judge’s May 2020 ruling that put a pause on that directive. Read more

GEORGE, Wash. — More than 160 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed among people who attended the Watershed Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre, the Grant County Health District said Friday, Aug. 13. Read more

LA GRANDE — Much like the rest of Oregon, the return of mask mandates has been met with a wide variety of opinions in Union County. Read more

The Oregon ZIP codes with the highest rates of recent coronavirus spread are among the state’s least vaccinated, an analysis by The Oregonian has found, helping fuel a record-setting surge in cases that is filling hospitals like never before. Read more

LA GRANDE — Grande Ronde Hospital and Clinics will host a virtual public town hall on Wednesday, Aug. 18, to address critical concerns of hospital capacity, according to a press release from the hospital. Read more

GRANTS PASS — Patients left on beds in hospital hallways, their monitoring machines beeping away as too few doctors and nurses attend to an overload of emergencies. People diagnosed with cancer or heart disease desperately needing treatments, but being turned away. Read more

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IMBLER — It was a familiar refrain Thursday, Aug. 12, during the Imbler School Board meeting. Read more

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UNION COUNTY — The Oregon Health Authority on Thursday, Aug. 12, announced a 19-year-old woman had died from COVID-19. Read more

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UNION — Union School Board members had their backs against the wall during the board’s monthly meeting. Read more

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UNION COUNTY — The Oregon Health Authority announced 16 new cases of COVID-19 in Union County for Wednesday, Aug. 11, according to a press release. Read more

LA GRANDE — With restaurants in need, grant funding has helped keep the doors open for some local favorites. Read more

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SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday, Aug. 11, ordered face masks worn indoors in public places by everyone age 5 and older beginning Aug. 13. Read more

UNION — Oregon State Police and Union County Sheriff’s Office found and searched two illegal marijuana grow sites in Union, according to a press release on Wednesday, Aug. 11. Read more

SALEM — The Oregon Health Authority reported Monday, Aug. 9, that 10 of the 55 Oregonians who died from COVID-19 in July were fully vaccinated. Read more

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UNION COUNTY — The Oregon Health Authority announced 17 new cases of COVID-19 in Union County for Tuesday, Aug. 10, according to a press release. Read more

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SALEM — The COVID-19 delta variant is spreading so fast that it will hit most of the state's unvaccinated population before the six weeks needed to be fully immunized if they were inoculated now. Read more

UNION — With pen in hand and heart on his sleeve, Jim Arnott is helping the state step up its campaign to convince more Oregonians to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Central Elementary School’s gymnasium was filled with tension Wednesday night, Aug. 4. Read more

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LA GRANDE — For the last several months, the 25 beds at Grande Ronde Hospital have been plenty for the county’s low COVID-19 rates. But with rates rising in recent weeks, the hospital has been stretching its resources thin. Read more

SALEM — Oregon health care workers will need to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or face weekly tests, under a rule Gov. Kate Brown plans to implement in late September. Read more

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LA GRANDE — La Grande School District students and their parents now have a clearer idea of what to expect in the 2021-22 school year in terms of COVID-19 safety restrictions. Read more

NEW YORK — Employers are losing patience with unvaccinated workers. Read more

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