This section of our website is devoted to providing information that may be useful to businesses and the challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Safety Fund Accepting Applications To Aid In Coronavirus Pandemic

FROM:
SAIF

The $10 million coronavirus worker safety fund is designed to promote employee safety, reduce injuries, and decrease exposures by helping SAIF policyholders impacted by the coronavirus.

The fund will help pay for expenses tied to preventing the spread of coronavirus at businesses or mitigating other coronavirus-related costs.

Funds may be approved for costs such as:
• Safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce exposure and transmission
• Cleaning services and supplies for disinfection
• Redesign or modification to respond to transmission risk
• Employee clinic modification or staffing for virus-related treatment
• Mental health and wellness initiatives for concerns linked to the crisis
• Coronavirus and job reassignment safety training and communication
• Reopening businesses safely after coronavirus closure

Ineligible expenses include home workstation equipment, routine supplies, and regular staffing expenses.

Among other requirements, eligible expenses must be incurred after March 1, 2020, be clearly associated with the coronavirus crisis, and be directly related to employee safety. SAIF will accept submissions until all funds have been expended or until the fund is terminated.

Additional Requirements Are Listed HERE

CORONAVIRUS WORKER SAFETY FUND
To apply, go to:
saif.com/safetyfund

Learn more To learn more about SAIF, contact us at 800-285-8525 or visit saif.com.

Governor Kate Brown Tightens Social Distancing Measures, Tells Oregonians to “Stay Home, Save Lives”

FROM:
Office of Oregon Governor Kate Brown

Updated orders for individuals, businesses, public organizations, and outdoor spaces to prevent COVID-19 spread

(Portland, OR)—Governor Kate Brown today issued Executive Order 20-12, directing everyone in Oregon to stay at home to the maximum extent possible and adding to the list of businesses that will be temporarily closed to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon. The order is effective immediately, and remains in effect until ended by the Governor.

“We are learning more about this virus and how people react to it every day. Not just from a medical standpoint, but from a social and behavioral standpoint.

“I started by asking Oregonians to stay home and practice social distancing. Then I urged the public to follow these recommendations. Instead, thousands crowded the beaches of our coastal communities, our trails, our parks, and our city streets, potentially spreading COVID-19 and endangering the lives of others across the state. Now, I’m ordering it. To save lives and protect our community.”

“Today, I am issuing a new executive order further requiring social distancing measures because we know this is the most effective way to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus. I hope everyone in Oregon abides by its core message: stay home unless absolutely necessary.

“Staying home both keeps you safe from infection, and ensures you do not unknowingly infect others.

“We’ve already put a number of measures forward specifically aimed at increasing hospital capacity, such as cutting down on non-emergency care so we conserve masks, gloves, and gowns to save the lives of the health care workers who are working so hard to save others. All of these things add up, and by slowing the infection rate, we preserve hospital beds so that there will be one available if and when you need it.

“None of us have ever been through this before, and that means there is no way to know exactly what lies ahead. We don’t know yet when this outbreak will end, or what changes this will bring for our state and for our country. But I want to make sure that we’ve done all we can to end it as quickly as possible.”

About the order:

  • All non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals are prohibited immediately, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained. Gatherings of members of the same residential household are permitted.
  • It closes and prohibits shopping at specific categories of retail businesses, for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as arcades, barber shops, hair salons, gyms and fitness studios, skating rinks, theaters, and yoga studios.
  • It requires businesses not closed by the order to implement social distancing policies in order to remain open, and requires workplaces to implement teleworking and work-at-home options when possible.
  • It directs Oregonians to stay home whenever possible, while permitting activities outside the home when social distance is maintained.
  • It closes playgrounds, sports courts, and skate parks, among other types of outdoor recreation facilities. Those that remain open are required to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • It outlines new guidelines for child care facilities, setting limits and rules on amounts of children allowed in care, and outlining that child care groups may not change participants.
  • Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health and subject to a Class C misdemeanor.

Following this order will save lives, while still allowing businesses to function if they can protect employees and customers through social distancing. While many businesses and organizations that are heavily dependent on foot traffic and in-person interactions have already closed or will close under the expanded order, other businesses that make robust plans to meet social distancing requirements—and enforce those requirements—may remain in operation, preserving jobs while ensuring health.

This distinction from closing all businesses except for those categorized as essential as mandated in other states, aims to minimize unintended consequences and add clarity for businesses who can adjust their business models to accommodate vital social distancing measures.

“This order is designed to flatten the curve over the coming weeks, preserving scarce hospital space and equipment. It will also ensure that any place of business that remains operational does its part to enforce social distancing rules,” said Governor Brown. “It is designed to be more sustainable over time, to allow Oregonians to keep their jobs when their work does not add to the growth of COVID-19 in Oregon.”

Retail businesses closed by Executive Order 20-12 include:

  • Shopping: Outdoor and indoor malls and retail complexes, although individual types of businesses not subject to the measures may stay open.
  • Fitness: Gyms, sports and fitness centers, health clubs, and exercise studios
  • Grooming: Barbershops, beauty and nail salons, and non-medical wellness spas
  • Entertainment: Theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys, and pool halls

Other retail businesses will not be able to continue to operate unless they can implement strict social distancing measures and designate an employee or officer charged with ensuring compliance. Retail businesses able to adapt to take-out style shopping experiences can also remain open. If businesses can have employees work from home, then they must do so. Many of the businesses outlined in the order have voluntarily closed their doors already, to do their part to protect Oregon’s communities. In addition, non-retail businesses like manufacturers and the construction industry must ensure that their employees are maintaining social distancing measures.

Please read the full details on all businesses listed in the executive order here.

In addition to businesses, Executive Order 20-12 also orders state executive branch offices and buildings to close to the public and provide public services by phone to the extent possible. When public services require in-person interactions, the order requires social distancing measures to be implemented and enforced. State agencies must also facilitate telework and work-at-home for state employees whenever possible. While the order does not apply to local, federal, or tribal governments, those governments are strongly encouraged to follow these directives.

The order also directs state agencies to close parks and other outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained––expanding on actions already taken by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

All coronavirus executive orders will be posted on the Oregon Coronavirus Information and Resources Page after they have been issued and signed.

SBA Disaster Loan

FROM:
Sarah Means
South Valley/Mid-Coast Coordinator
Regional Solutions
Office of Governor Kate Brown

We just got official word that Oregon has been designated for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance. This declaration makes SBA loans available statewide to small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by COVID-19. Please find information on the application process attached.

For more information CLICK HERE:

Disaster #: OR-00101
Effective Date: 1/31/2020
Incident Period:
1/31/2020 and continuing
Incident: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

States Affected: Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Washington

Counties Eligible (Oregon): Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler, Yamhill

Filing WARNs Or Other Layoff & Closure Notifications

FROM:
Karen Madden Humelbaugh
Director, Office of Workforce Investments
HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING COMMISSION

following email should be used to file WARNs or other layoff and closure notifications:

CCWD.DWOREGON@oregon.gov

This email is staffed up with three of our Dislocated Worker staff and can also be used for questions about notifications.  It is not the best place for unemployment information, but we can forward any of those questions to OED and are in constant contact with those staff here in OED Central Office if someone sends a message that needs different expertise.

We are encouraging as many businesses as possible to file WARNs or just send us any format of a ‘heads up email’ that they are laying off staff.  We are tracking these in an effort to not only have a sense of scope for you and the Governor, but to also have the list so that we can apply for additional federal funds should they become available (this is critical).  We will also work with OED to cross reference UI claimant info for businesses/industries to supplement those potential asks.