Are required restaurant face masks in Oregons future?
Are required restaurant face masks in Oregon's future? Jason Kempin / Getty News

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'!)

• The Oregon Health Authority reported 64 new confirmed COVID-19 cases (that we know of), bringing the total to 2,510. Two more deaths were reported as well, bringing that total to 103 coronavirus deaths.

• The most infuriating news of the day BY FAR: Armed domestic terrorists and other protesters (AKA Trumpers) have stormed the Michigan State capitol to threaten lawmakers and demand that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reopen the state. (Just imagine if anyone other than white people took over a state capitol with guns. Also imagine if this would have happened if a certain idiot president hadn't encouraged his minions to do exactly this.)

• Meanwhile, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is doing the work voters asked her to do, and has unveiled a plan to provide front-line medical workers a tuition-free college education post-crisis, a plan inspired by the World War II GI Bill.

• Back in Washington DC, our idiot president is expected to let COVID federal guidelines expire on Thursday. The guidelines, if followed, could significantly help flatten the coronavirus curve and save lives. Guess we can expect the death count under Trump to really ratchet up in the coming months.

• Related: Republican governors want to strip away unemployment benefits from employees who refuse to come back to work in clearly unsafe conditions.

• The path to a COVID-19 vaccine seems to be straightening out and becoming less blocked: Dr. Fauci went on Today to say he thinks it's "do-able" to have hundreds of millions of vaccine doses readily available by January 2021. Reminder: "do-able" is not "done."

• ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE: The Food and Drug Administration plans to issue an emergency authorization for remdesivir, a new drug that has shown promise in shortening recovery times for COVID-19. The drug is owned by pharmaceutical company Gilead, which does not have a great track record when it comes to ethically distributing potentially life-saving medicines.

• Thirty million people in the United States have filed for unemployment since the COVID-19 crisis began. This means that one in five people who had a job in February are now out of work.

• Alex Soojung-Kim Pang's guest editorial for The Atlantic proposes an interesting solution to quickly re-opening the economy: Make the workweek four days long. And then keep it four days long once we're back on our feet.


• According to draft guidelines for eventually opening up Oregon, citizens can perhaps expect face masks in restaurants, screening employees and customers in businesses, and perhaps even taking temperatures. Again, this is just a draft—but it does show what state leaders are thinking.

• The latest data shows that Latinx people continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in Oregon, particularly in Marion County, which is home to a high population of farmworkers.

• Amazon will begin testing their warehouse workers in Troutdale for coronavirus, part of a much larger company-wide effort to control the virus.

• To the north of us, Washington state is reopening its state parks after closing them to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But some major Washington parks might still stay closed out of fear that people will come from outside of the community (like from, ahem, Oregon) and crowd the parks, making it more likely that the virus will spread.

• If you need some cheering up after reading all this, turn your bad mood around quick with the Mercury Cheer Up Club, featuring the internet's biggest daily laughs!

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• Look, you're stuck inside, creative, going nuts, and need money, right? Then enter your short confinement-themed film in the Confinement (online) Film Festival, better known as CoFF!

• And finally, this kid knows her rights! FIGHT THE POWER!