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Pandemic Sparknotes: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a mere six pages of recommendations Thursday to guide schools, businesses, day-care facilities and others into the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic. It has left states with little guidance on to how to safely reopen their economies.
Dispatch From the Dark Ages: Michigan shuttered its capitol building and canceled its legislative session Thursday after a series of online death threats were made against Governor Gretchen Whitmer for her state shutdown orders. According to Newsweek, posts in private Facebook groups "called for Whitmer to be hanged, lynched, shot, beaten or beheaded."
Pour One Out for J. Crew: The US Commerce Department reports that retail sales in the US dropped 16 percent in April from March's levels—and dropped 21 percent from April 2019 levels.
Horrifying landlord news of the day:
I spoke with 3 people whose landlords sexually harassed them when they struggled to pay rent during the pandemic. “He knows I don’t have a job. He knows I don't have anywhere to go — he’s preying on me,” one told me: https://t.co/pPYANbxaeq
— Amber Jamieson (@ambiej) May 14, 2020
Oregon Reopening? Gov. Kate Brown has allowed all retail shops across Oregon to reopen today, regardless of their county's current ability to track and treat COVID-19 cases. Those retail shops must follow strict distancing rules to remain open. The 31 counties that have met the state's "phase one" reopening standards, meanwhile, are allowed to open restaurants, gyms, salons, and other close-quarters businesses today. Multnomah is not one of those counties.
Not So Fast, Sez Multnomah County: In a Thursday press call, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury stressed that the region will not be reopening "anytime in the near future."Kafoury told reporters that the key to reopening the county will be an increase in funding for personal protective equipment (PPE), hiring contact tracers to track the spread of the virus, and other supplies, and that more funding “feels out of reach” right now.
Health Inequity 101: An investigation by the Salem Reporter finds that the state and regional delays in sharing information about COVID-19 to Spanish-speaking residents in Marion County may have contributed to the Latinx population becoming infected with the virus at a rate more than double that of the state.
Death Row Dead Empty: Oregon death row inmates were abruptly relocated this week to new housing—some allegedly being placed among the general prison population. A death row inmate hasn't been executed in 25 years. Criminal justice advocates are hopeful that the move indicates a shift away from the state ever returning to capital punishment.
Police Killing Gets Court Approval: A judge has dismissed a federal lawsuit accusing the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) of wrongfully killing John Elifritz, a 48-year-old man who was fatally shot by officers in April 2018.
I love living in a place where leaders expect us all to act like rational adults, and yet it’s also completely terrifying because we’re so clearly not. https://t.co/Ce2xkBrtUB
— Anna Griffin (@annargriff) May 14, 2020
Shady Nursing Home Sued: A $1.8 million wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Healthcare at Foster Creek, a Portland nursing home forced to shutter after nearly 30 people died from COVID-19. The suit has been filed by a daughter of a 75-year-old resident who died in mid-April.
Pick-ing Up the Pieces (Get It?!?): "It’s not going to happen this year. It is what it is. You can’t do anything about it," and other things the founder of Pickathon told us about deciding to cancel this year's festival.
Feast Cancelled: The organizers of Feast Portland, the annual celebration of food and drink, cancelled their September 2020 event Thursday. They left us with this reassurance: "We will Feast again."