Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline

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WALLOWA — The Wallowa School District is temporarily closed after a "person in our school community" was diagnosed with COVID-19, Superintendent Tammy Jones posted to the district's Facebook page late Wednesday, Oct. 28. Read more

ENTERPRISE — Many places of worship in Wallowa County are rebounding from the shutdowns caused this past spring because of the coronavirus pandemic, and some are even finding their new circumstances a benefit. Read more

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PORTLAND — COVID-19 claimed nine more lives in Oregon, bringing the state’s death toll to 664, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27. Read more

Two new COVID-19 cases in Wallowa County were among the 399 reported by the Oregon Health Authority Saturday, Oct. 24. Read more

Oregon had its highest one-day total of new and presumptive COVID-19 cases Friday, Oct. 23, with Oregon Health Authority reporting 550 new cases of the coronavirus. Read more

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

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

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Wallowa County has its 37th case of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic as there was one new case among the 390 statewide reported by the Oregon Health Authority on Wednesday, Oct. 14. Read more

ENTERPRISE — Wallowa County school staff, students and parents are learning to be flexible in light of the constantly changing face of education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

ENTERPRISE — Eateries and lodging establishments in Wallowa County that were concerned the COVID-19 pandemic would wipe out business during the tourist season have been somewhat relieved as tourism winds down and they find they’ve survived. Read more

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The vast majority of consumers — 92% — expects the pandemic will change this year’s Christmas celebrations, according to a survey commissioned by the Christmas Tree Promotion Board. Read more

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, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday.  Read more

ENTERPRISE — Funding to rebuild the Wallowa Lake Dam remains on hold as the anticipated September report on state lottery revenues came in below what was needed to fund it and 36 other projects selected by the Oregon Legislature last year. Read more

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WALLOWA LAKE — It wasn’t the usual Swiss-Bavarian celebration, but Oregon Alpenfest organizers weren’t about to let a pandemic totally shut them down Saturday, Sept. 26, after more than 40 years of celebrating in Oregon’s alpine country. Read more

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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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SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday, Sept. 16, a new program to provide masks and gloves to small businesses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release from the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce. Read more

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WALLOWA COUNTY — A cluster of six new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Wallowa County by the Oregon Health Authority, according to a press release issued Wednesday, Sept. 16. Read more

ENTERPRISE — Wallowa County schools were ready and rarin’ to go to this week to get back in class for the 2020-21 school year. Schools opened Tuesday, Sept. 8, in Enterprise, Joseph and Wallowa. Read more

ENTERPRISE — If the whole COVID-19 thing has you feeling depressed, frustrated and anxious, you are not alone. Read more

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SALEM — Uninsured Oregonians who were not able to sign up for private health coverage due to COVID-19 can still enroll, according to a press release Sept. 1. Read more

PORTLAND — A 13% drop in daily cases for the week of Aug. 16-23 was seen when the Oregon Health Authority released its weekly report Wednesday, Aug. 26. Read more

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

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Oregon's COVID-19 case rate seems to be in decline, but state health officials are nervous about a potential uptick in cases, following the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. Read more

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A $62 million relief fund is now accepting applications from Black residents picking up the pieces after the novel coronavirus shattered lives and livelihoods across Oregon. Read more

LA GRANDE — Musician Luke McKern of La Grande was missing the camaraderie and excitement of performing after COVID-19 shut down concerts and large gatherings. Read more

PORTLAND — Umpqua Bank, a West Coast regional bank, has released its Business Resiliency Survey, a nationwide study gauging the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the confidence and future of U.S.-based small and mid-sized businesses, according to a press release. Read more

ENTERPRISE — Health care remains a priority, even for budgets severely impacted by COVID-19 downturns. Read more

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SALEM — The Oregon Health Authority released its Weekly Testing Report, which showed that as of Monday, Aug. 24, Oregon's cumulative positive testing rate is 4.5% of people tested. This is considerably lower than the national average of 9%. Read more

The $500 Emergency Relief Check Program has exhausted its 70,000 available payments in just three days. Read more

SALEM — Nearly half of the available funds for a new $500 relief check program have been used up in the first two days of the program. Read more

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Oregon residents facing financial hardship from the COVID-19 crisis are eligible for $500 one-time checks in a program beginning Wednesday, Aug. 19. Read more

ENTERPRISE — Now that the schools in Wallowa County will be opening classrooms to students on Tuesday, Sept. 8, the county’s three school districts are rushing to make final plans. Read more

WALLOWA COUNTY — Merchants saddled with coronavirus-related regulations are facing challenges in addition to keeping their businesses afloat, as they cope with making sure customers comply with wearing face masks and social distancing. Read more

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The Oregon Legislature's most powerful panel approved a plan to use federal funds to buy $105 million of personal protective equipment, despite objections from over half of all lawmakers. Read more

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PORTLAND — As of mid-June, 1% of Oregonians without COVID-19 had evidence of past infection of the virus in their blood, which is 10 times higher than the reported rate of infections obtained through conventional testing, according to a new study. Read more

SALEM — High school sports in Oregon will not kick off until 2021. Read more

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The bar has been lowered for reopening smaller schools this fall as Oregon continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

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The second special session of the Oregon Legislature on Monday careened between boredom and anger, spiritual quotes and name calling as it dragged on from early morning into the night. Read more

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Thousands of Oregonians who await unemployment benefits, whose claims were denied or who never filed in the first place will soon have a chance to obtain one-time $500 checks from a state fund. Read more

Gov. Kate Brown announced a new source of financial assistance Aug. 1 for agricultural workers who need to self-quarantine during COVID-19. Read more

Oregon lawmakers approved $94 million more to expand coronavirus testing and contact tracing, but deadlocked on $105 million more for the state to buy personal protective equipment for distribution to counties and tribes. Read more

Agriculture groups expect to play defense during the upcoming special legislative session on Oregon’s budget, when natural resources spending will likely go under the knife. Read more

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The Oregon School Activities Association executive board voted today to move high school football and other fall sports to the spring of 2021. Read more

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The pandemic foiled a football game but it proved no match for the generosity of Baker County ranchers and farmers, and Shriners and other volunteers across Oregon. Read more

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The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests cases hit their highest levels in four months, state health officials reported Monday. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has voted to move its football championship to the spring of 2021, just as it did with the rest of its fall sports. Read more

LA GRANDE — Union County has been moved from the governor's county watch list and deemed by the state to have its spread of COVID-19 under control. Read more

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Only a third of Oregonians believe the state is "going in the right direction," and the majority support racial justice protests and police reforms, according to a new statewide survey. Read more

While the nation passed 150,000 deaths from COVID-19, there were some relatively encouraging numbers about a decline of the infection rate in Oregon and a plateau of the high numbers of infections across the country. Read more

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The acting director of the Oregon Employment Department confirmed Wednesday that overpayments have been made to some people who are working reduced hours, but who also draw unemployment benefits under a state program that offsets their wage losses. Read more

In order to resume in-person school this fall, Oregon counties and the state as a whole must meet a low threshold of COVID-19 cases that only one county currently meets, according to a new mandate issued Tuesday by Gov. Kate Brown. Read more

ENTERPRISE — With fire season fast approaching, the American Red Cross is looking for volunteers in Wallowa County, and with the added challenge of COVID-19, there is an even bigger need for help this year. Read more

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ENTERPRISE — Recent tightening of restrictions on going about in public is not likely to have a great effect on Wallowa County business, most proprietors contacted said, largely because the county rolls up its sidewalks early. Read more

ENTERPRISE — Some 22 Wallowa County residents have signed up to report their temperature and other COVID-19 symptoms for up to one year as part of a statewide research study that is measuring the virus’ prevalence throughout Oregon, according to a press release. Read more

ENTERPRISE — With COVID-19 on the doorstep of Wallowa County, it’s become evident that the Oregon Health Authority is Wallowa County’s de facto public health department, with no local department of public health. Read more

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ENTERPRISE — A woman upset that she was required to wear a face mask at Ace Hardware in Enterprise was "trespassed" when she refused to get a mask or leave the premises, Friday, July 24, according to a Wallowa County Sheriff’s deputy. Read more

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The executive board of the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA), which regulates high school sports in the state, decided after a three-day work session this week to delay high school football, including practices, indefinitely. Read more

WALLOWA COUNTY — The revenue government agencies receive from local transient/motel taxes may be another area plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, as a falling number of stays at motels means fewer tax dollars. Read more

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SALEM — All K-12 students in Oregon will be required to wear face coverings if they return to classrooms this fall, according to a new state mandate. All school staff in K-12 schools will also be required to wear face coverings, such as masks or shields. Read more

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Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday ordered bars to close earlier, lowered the age for mask requirements, further limited crowd sizes and said she may impose travel restrictions. Read more

SALEM — Aiding financially crippled businesses and the impact of alcoholism on public health were the center of debate Tuesday, July 21, at a meeting to consider extending off-site alcohol sales rules put in place early in the COVID-19 crisis. Read more

ENTERPRISE — When Tori White found out she had tested positive for COVID-19, she didn’t believe it at first. Read more

ENTERPRISE — Despite signs of people flaunting the statewide mandate to wear facemasks in public and maintain social distancing, there has been no crackdown on violators, state and local officials report. Read more

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ENTERPRISE — The framing is done and the walls are going up on the new $7.4 million, 22,000 square-foot Hearts for Health Integrated Health Care facility adjacent to Wallowa Memorial Hospital. Read more

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ENTERPRISE — Wallowa Memorial Hospital announced the first COVID-19-related death in the county, according to a press release. Read more

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LA GRANDE — The Cascade Collegiate Conference announced Friday, July 17, it is delaying the start of its fall sports season. Read more

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The Oregon Legislature’s chief budget writers have proposed to shield state aid to schools, but to cut almost $400 million in other spending and draw down reserves to offset reduced tax collections during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Oregon lawmakers have cleared the way for some unemployed people to obtain one-time checks of $500 if they have been waiting for weeks to obtain unemployment benefits. Read more

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Face masks must be worn outdoors when social distancing is not possible and private gatherings must be limited to no more than 10 people, Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday. Read more

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ELGIN — The Friends of the Joseph Branch Board of Directors has watched the status of the COVID-19 virus pandemic closely and recently made the decision to not run the Eagle Cap Excursion Train this season. Read more

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Oregon faces an "exponential growth" in COVID-19 cases if current trends continue, with ever rising numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Read more

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ENTERPRISE — The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles Field Office in Enterprise is now accepting appointments for in-person visits that start Tuesday, July 21. Read more

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LA GRANDE — Eastern Oregon University plans to resume on-campus, in-person activities and instruction this fall, the school announced earlier this week. Read more

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A steep drop in lottery funds due to the COVID-19 crisis has killed the sale of $273 million in state bonds to pay for major projects, state officials said Wednesday. Read more

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WALLOWA — In response to the Wallowa City Council’s decision to not issue permits for an official Independence Day Parade, a grassroots effort led to a “nonparade,” Saturday, July 4, with a hearty turnout. Read more

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WALLOWA LAKE — With cars parked a mile each side of the entrance to the county boat ramp at Wallowa Lake on both sides of the highway and the beaches and parking areas crammed, there seemed to be little thought of social distancing Saturday, July 4, as Americans gathered for the annual Indep… Read more

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ENTERPRISE — Over Fourth of July weekend, Wallowa Memorial Hospital reported three more positive cases of COVID-19 in Wallowa Count.  On July 7, the 14th positive COVID-19 case for Wallowa County was announced.  Read more

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Drug decriminalization, a cigarette tax increase and limits on political campaign financing are on a historically short list of ballot measures that will go before voters in the Nov. 3 election. Read more

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BAKER CITY — The plaintiffs, including a Baker City church, who sued Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in early May, claiming she had exceeded her legal authority in restricting activities due to the pandemic, have voluntarily dismissed their complaint. Read more

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ENTERPRISE — Wallowa County may be getting up to $250,000 in federal CARES Act funds to help local businesses and recoup expenses. Read more

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JOSEPH — Signs in Joseph were vandalized recently to convey anti-tourist messages and heighten fear that tourists are bringing COVID-19 to the area, according to Joseph City Administrator Larry Braden. Read more

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One special session of the Oregon Legislature is history, but a second is coming. Read more

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ENTERPRISE — The Oregon Health Authority announced the ninth and 10th positive COVID-19 cases in Wallowa County on Tuesday, June 30. Read more

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Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday that starting Wednesday, Oregonians statewide will be required to wear masks or other face coverings in indoor public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read more

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JOSEPH — The on-again-off-again fireworks over Wallowa Lake is officially on again, said Gary Bethscheider, of Joseph, who is spearheading the effort. Read more

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LA GRANDE — While wetter conditions were prevalent throughout the spring across much of the Oregon Department of Forestry-Northeast Oregon District, the weather is changing to a typical summer pattern of warmer and drier conditions. Read more

SALEM — The Oregon Legislature convened a special session on Wednesday, June 24, amid a worldwide pandemic that has killed over 475,000 people — nearly a quarter of them in the United States. Read more

ENTERPRISE — Wallowa County may have avoided the brunt of COVID-19 cases, but the hospital here stands ready to help neighboring counties, such as with the massive surge reported last week in La Grande. Read more

JOSEPH — The draw of tourism also can mean a draw of COVID-19 to areas where the economy is dependent on visits from outsiders, said Clay Josephy, an emergency-room physician who was the featured speaker during the weekly Josephy Center Brown Bag discussion Tuesday, June 16. Read more

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WALLOWA — There will be no Independence Day parade in Wallowa this year, after the Wallowa City Council met Tuesday, June 16, and voted to deny any permit requests connected with the event. Read more

LA GRANDE — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has outlined what the Fall 2020 sports season could look like. Read more

ENTERPRISE — A 2020-21 budget of $6.25 million was approved Monday, June 22, by the Enterprise City Council after a budget hearing at city hall. Read more

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JOSEPH — On, then off, then on again — it now looks like the annual Fourth of July fireworks show over Wallowa Lake has fizzled out, largely due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. Read more

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SALEM — Oregon Sen. Bill Hansell will not be joining other Oregon lawmakers on Wednesday, June 24, for a special session of the Oregon Legislature. Read more

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WALLOWA COUNTY — Another new case of COVID-19 was confirmed on Sunday, June 21, in Wallowa County, according to a press release from the Oregon Health Authority. Read more

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Wallowa Memorial Hospital confirmed on Friday, June 19, that the Oregon Health Authority will be announcing two new positive COVID-19 cases in Wallowa County, bringing the county's case total to seven. Read more

SALEM — Contact tracers usually work with local government agencies to call people who may have come in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Read more

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ENTERPRISE — A second round of grants is being awarded to businesses that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release. Read more

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ENTERPRISE — Concerns over the Union County surge of COVID-19 and the planned Fourth of July fireworks show on Wallowa Lake were heard by the Wallowa County Commission at its Wednesday, June 17, meeting at the courthouse. Read more

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