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Good morning, Portland! I hope you had a delightful weekend, if the concept of a weekend even exists anymore. Who else is looking forward to staying inside all weekend and avoiding humanity BY CHOICE? Until then, here's the news you need to know before jumping into apocalypse, week three:
First, some good news: The strict social distancing measures taken to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the Seattle metro area appear to be paying off. Hospitals haven't been overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, the death rate has slowed, and expert analysis shows that the overall spread in the region is decelerating. In Oregon, new statistical modeling has found that if Oregonians continue to stay home, we could see a similar trend.
Back to the bummer news: The White House announced yesterday that, even if the country takes aggressive action to slow COVID-19's spread, as many as 200,000 people could die from the virus in the US. To make sure that number doesn't grow, Donald Trump went back on his promise to save Easter, and extended the national social distancing guidelines until the end of April.
A toast to the heroes in the White House press pool:
President Trump today at the White House said to me: “Be nice. Don't be threatening.”
I’m not the first human being, woman, black person or journalist to be told that while doing a job.
My take: Be steady. Stay focused. Remember your purpose. And, always press forward.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 29, 2020
In other heroic journalism news: Please enjoy this incredible interview with the academic whose unscientific analysis of how people are overreacting to COVID-19 fueled the White House's original response to the virus.
Dispatch from America's child prisons: A federal judge in Los Angeles has ordered the government to—essentially—try harder to release the nearly 4,000 immigrant children being held in detention centers, now that several children have tested positive for COVID-19.
It's a disaster: On Sunday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that Oregon now qualifies for special emergency funding due to the spread of COVID-19. That spending could go towards temporary hospitals, mortuary costs, or other emergency solutions to combat this virus.
A cool thing:
I did not know that OSU has a website that allows you to search for recipes based on what you have on hand (found out in today's OHA coronavirus update) https://t.co/T8sFGbCpAH
— Jason Wilson (@jason_a_w) March 29, 2020
Freedom!: Oregonians can now pump their own gas and spread COVID-19 through hand germs! (At least until April 11.)
For those who can't "stay home": Gov. Kate Brown clarified her statewide executive order directing people to stay home Friday, explaining that it doesn't apply to houseless Oregonians who are living in shelters or sleeping outside.
Related: Multnomah County will open its third emergency homeless shelter Monday in the East Portland Community Center's gym. This facility will sleep 75 women who are already in the county's shelter system. The other two shelters are in the Oregon Convention Center and the Charles Jordan Community Center.
PLZ DON'T DIE campaign goes live: Gov. Brown has dropped her fresh new Wieden+Kennedy collab in the form of a campaign for the state's "Stay Home, Save Lives." Here's one of the PSAs:
Another PSA: Please don't call 911 to tattle on people who don't seem to be following the state's social distancing guidelines and business closure requirements.
Rich guy does good: Columbia Sportswear's CEO has cut his salary down to $10k to make sure his employees keep receiving paychecks during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Are you a small business hurt by COVID-19's economic gut punch? Portland's offering small business loans and grants, starting today. We'll learn more about it (and some housing news) at a morning press conference, but here's some info to get you started.
Let's end on a high note:
The Backstreet Boys singing “I Want It That Way” from their separate abodes gives me so. much. joy. Also, I might be crying? #iHeartConcertonFOX pic.twitter.com/CfwXu6YQcZ
— Ashley Spencer (@AshleyySpencer) March 30, 2020