Gov. Brown announces that Oregon schools will be out for the rest of the school year.
Gov. Brown announces that Oregon schools will be out for the rest of the school year. Wirachai / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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'!)

• As of Tuesday, the number of positive coronavirus cases in Oregon (that we know of) rose to 1,181, with 33 deaths. UPDATE: As of today, there were 58 new COVID-19 cases (28 of those in Multnomah County alone) bringing the state total to 1,239, while the death rate rose to 38.

• Governor Kate Brown answered questions from the press today regarding the state's efforts to keep our kids educated during the crisis, including announcing that Oregon schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. Our Blair Stenvick has all the details.

• Local small business orders haven't had an easy time of it, and the grants and loans that have been made available aren't that available, as it turns out. But Prosper Portland is back with another opportunity for financial relief. Wm. Steven Humphrey has more.

• Been spending much of your sheltered-in-place time face deep in your significant other's peach? The Oregon Health Association says that maybe it's better to put a pause on tossing all that salad if you want to stay COVID-free.

• On March 18, Gov. Kate Brown announced the Oregon Health Authority had secured a contract for 20,000 COVID-19 tests from Quest Diagnostics. Today, it was announced the state actually agreed to receive only half of that number, and they're planning on saving them for a possible surge in the future, instead of using them now.

• In order to further prepare for that possible surge, the City of Portland, Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties are teaming up to make available an online tool that tracks its spread and directs users to hospital or home care accordingly.

• Multnomah County is considering extending the deadline that renters have to notify their landlords if they can't pay their rent.

• Didn't pay your rent last week? You're not alone. 10 million other people also decided against it, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. That's 31-percent of renters, as opposed to the 20-percent who normally don't pay on time.

• Portland Parks and Recreation will be deploying "park greeters" to “educate the public about how to use their park system safely and to explain what facilities are open or closed.” Hopefully they will also "shame stare" at all you people who keep grouping up! WE ALL SEE YOU, AND YOU'RE NOT GETTING AWAY WITH ANYTHING!


• An analysis from the Washington Post delivers this sobering news: Hundreds of young Americans have died from the coronavirus.

• Despite the fact the country's coronavirus peak is still in our near future, some of the very few places people can go to get tested for COVID-19 are set to close this Friday, as that's when our federal government's support will run out.

• With the overwhelming loss of jobs during the coronavirus crisis, working women are being hardest hit.

• Yesterday, the president blamed the World Health Organization for his stunning ineptitude, ignorance, and inability to successfully prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic, and then he threatened their funding. WHO's director-general Tedros Adhannon had a response today: "Please don't politicize this virus. If you don't want more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it."

• Yesterday, China passed the "first day without a death" milestone of this coronavirus crisis. Today, they lifted the lockdown order on Wuhan, provided citizens—through a government-sanctioned phone app—can prove they're not contagion risks. The total length of Wuhan's lockdown? 76 days.

• BEWARE: Trump and the GOP are doing everything they can to block vote-by-mail during the COVID-19 crisis, because they know full well that if everyone can vote, Republicans won't stand a chance.

• There's big COVID-19 trouble for the Saudi Royal Family: "As many as 150 royals inside the kingdom are believed to have contracted the coronavirus."

• British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still in intensive care due to coronavirus complications, but is reportedly "responding to treatment."

• The latest common sense tweet from the Steak-Umm revolution!

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• Finally, I suppose we should be grateful that DEATH is only warning us.