Here's your daily roundup of all the local and national news about COVID-19. (Like our coverage? Please consider donating to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)
• On a press call today, Gov. Kate Brown said that the Oregon Health Authority will soon report more detailed coronavirus data, including hospitalizations, and breakdowns by age and gender (expect more on that in the near future). Brown also said that new projections on how COVID-19 will spread and impact the state will be made public tomorrow.
• As of yesterday, Oregon has 209 reported positive cases of COVID-19, and eight deaths (as far as we know). UPDATE: Today that number has jumped to 57 new positive cases, making for a total of 266. There have been 10 deaths thus far.
• A diabetic man being held in Oregon's Columbia County Jail (CCJ) has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the county and its top law enforcement officials for "willfully and wantonly" dismissing the public health threat caused by COVID-19. Our Alex Zielinski has the details.
• RELATED: While Gov. Brown has issued a social distancing order in Oregon that's not going to be easy at all for our state's prisons. Our Alex Zielinski takes a look at the challenges that lie ahead for the Multnomah County jail system.
• Local award-winning chef Andy Ricker (Pok Pok) announced he will be closing all of his restaurants—including shutting down take-out and deliver—until further notice, citing his inability to keep his kitchen staff working at a safe distance, as well as the death of his friend Chef Floyd Cardoz who perished from COVID-19. Our Wm. Steven Humphrey has more.
• Do you have a shitty boss who is blatantly ignoring Gov. Brown's executive order to maintain a safe workspace for employees? Now there's a way to report them to Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health division.
• If you're in Washington County, you definitely need to stay at home and stay safe: The county has double the cases (76) of any other county in Oregon. Marion County is next, followed by Multnomah.
IN NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
• Curious what "lockdown" means in other countries? Jordan's definition is pretty damn strict—but they still made sure to get smokes to the people. Priorities!
• Pro-tip for the upcoming April Fool's Day: COVID-19 Edition: If you're thinking about coughing at someone and saying "haha, now you've got the 'rona!" you probably shouldn't. For one, it's not funny. Also, you'll probably get charged with making terroristic threats, like this idiot in New Jersey did.
• By now you've heard about the $2 trillion stimulus package, but what exactly is all that money buying? The New York Times has a breakdown of five key things agreed to by Congress on Wednesday.
• Know what's definitely not in that package? Money for Trump's stupid border wall. There's a provision specifically blocking the White House from using this stimulus to help build his inane slatted fence that falls over when the wind blows.
Across the U.S., undocumented household workers are losing their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. But unable to collect unemployment and without paid sick leave and other benefits, they are being left uniquely vulnerable. https://t.co/OUUbaJ7DfK
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 25, 2020
• Domestic violence hotlines have seen big spikes in calls since sheltering in place became a widespread response to the coronavirus. Here's how the lockdown is making life even more difficult for abused women.
• The Atlantic is the first to come up with a name for babies being born during this outbreak ("Gen C"), and published it as part of their projection on how the pandemic will eventually end. Spoilers: It's not particularly pretty.
• Seattle's NPR affiliate is done with the President's lie-filled tomfoolery, and will no longer broadcast Trump's press briefings live.
However, we will not be airing the briefings live due to a pattern of false or misleading information provided that cannot be fact checked in real time. (2)
— KUOW Public Radio (@KUOW) March 24, 2020
• And finally, here's a good doggie getting excited for a very good reason!
Need some cheering up? Be sure to check in daily for smiles and laughs in the Mercury Cheer Up Club!