Coronavirus in Oregon: A timeline of events

The first presumptive case of new coronavirus was identified in Oregon on Friday, February 28. Here's everything that's happened since then, with daily updates from health officials.

Posted: Mar 19, 2020 7:26 PM
Updated: May 25, 2020 6:53 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — The first presumptive case of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was identified in Oregon on Friday, Feb. 28 in Washington County, after several days of tense watching and waiting as cases appeared in neighboring Washington and California.

To keep you informed, here's everything that's happened since then, with daily updates from state and local health officials.

Tuesday, May 12

  • The remaining 12 rapid coronavirus testing machines have been delivered to various hospitals around the state, including one going to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath County. Previously, rapid testing machines had been delivered to hospitals in Lake, Curry, and Morrow Counties.
  • Providence announces it will enact state-wide pay cuts and furloughs due to losses brought on by COVID-19.

Monday, May 11

  • Oregon public health officials announce 51 new cases of coronavirus with three new deaths. There have now been 130 deaths attributed to the virus with 3,222 confirmed cases in the state. At least 74,320 tests have come back negative.
  • Governor Kate Brown along with other leaders from the “Western State Pact” addressed a letter to the heads of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives asking for $1 trillion in "direct and flexible relief" for state and local governments in order to prevent major cuts to public services.
  • Governor Kate Brown has issued a statement signaling that Oregon could be facing a $3 billion economic shortfall for this budget period due to coronavirus.

Sunday, May 10

  • Oregon public health officials announce 60 new cases of coronavirus with no new deaths.
  • The Oregon State Fire Marshall is extending the temporary rule change allowing for self service pumping at gas stations. The rule change was set to end on Saturday, May 9th, is now set to expire on Saturday, May 23rd.

Saturday, May 9

  • Oregon public health officials announce 79 new cases of coronavirus along with three new deaths. There have now been 127 deaths and 3,160 confirmed cases of the virus in the state. 71,460 tests have come back negative.

Friday, May 8

  • Following Governor Kate Brown’s most recent plan, which included banning all large gatherings through September, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2020 season has been cancelled entirely. “The health and safety of our entire Ashland community, including artists, staff, volunteers, patrons, and Festival partners, is our highest priority,” said Nataki Garrett, OSF artistic director.

Thursday, May 7

  • Oregon public health officials announce 70 new cases of coronavirus and six new deaths. There have now been 121 deaths and 2,957 confirmed cases in the state.
  • Governor Kate Brown rolls out the state’s newest specific guidelines for counties and businesses that are looking to enter “Phase One” of reopening on Friday, May 15. Governor Kate Brown also announces possible plans for Phase Two and Phase Three, noting festivals and other large gatherings will still be canceled or "significantly modified through at least September."
  • Due to Governor Brown’s latest announcement, the 2020 Britt Festival will be postponed until next year. "Due to this mandate, and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our community, including musicians, fans, partners, and staff, the 2020 Britt Presents Season will be postponed until 2021," the organization said in its announcement.

Wednesday, May 6

  • Oregon public health officials announce 70 new cases of coronavirus and two new deaths. There have now been 115 deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 2,887 confirmed cases. The Oregon Health Authority also notes 65,060 people have tested negative for the virus.
  • Curry County announces it will lift restrictions on visitors staying at area hotels and vacation rentals. The ban on visitor lodging in Curry County has been in place for just over one month.
  • All of southern Oregon's counties are submitting their plans for entering "phase one" of lifting coronavirus restrictions, pending approval from Governor Kate Brown's office. Each of the plans hinge on where the counties stand in regards to COVID-19 cases. The Governor's plan requires that each county must testify to a downward trajectory of both flu-like and COVID-like cases, adequate hospital surge capacity, a steady supply of PPE, and a robust testing program.

Tuesday, May 5

  • Oregon public health officials announce 72 new cases of coronavirus along with four new deaths. There have now been 113 deaths and 2,817 confirmed cases in the state.
  • Oregon and the federal government have partnered up to extend SNAP benefits to families with kids that would be receiving free or reduced-price meals if they were still in school.
  • The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has issued an “emergency order” requiring health insurance companies to provide a 60-day grace period for any past due premiums.
  • Governor Kate Brown announces an immediate “limited reopening” of the state’s outdoor recreation areas. Oregon Parks & Recreation listed a handful of inland state parks that will open up beginning Wednesday, including the Joseph Stewart boat ramp on Lost Creek Lake near Shady Cove, the Prineville Reservoir boat ramp near Prineville, the State Capitol State Park in Salem, and Pilot Butte in Bend.

Monday, May 4

  • Oregon public health officials announce 65 new cases of coronavirus with no new deaths for the second day in a row. The number of deaths attributed to the virus remain at 109 with 2,745 cases confirmed in the state.
  • The University of Oregon is the new home to a machine that is capable to decontaminating N-95 masks. The decontamination unit came to Oregon via the federal government, and the state reached an agreement with UO to house the system. The unit can sanitize 85,000 masks per day according to Governor Kate Brown’s office.

Sunday, May 3

  • Oregon public health officials announce 45 new case of coronavirus with no new deaths. The number of deaths attributed to the virus remain at 109 with 2,680 cases confirmed in the state.

Saturday, May 2

  • Oregon public health officials announce 57 new cases of coronavirus and 5 new deaths. There have now been 109 deaths attributed to coronavirus and 2,635 confirmed cases in the state.
  • Gov. Kate Brown extends the current state of emergency due to the coronavirus by another 60 days. The original state of emergency, declared on March 8, is now set to expire on July 6. "I find that the novel infections coronavirus continues to threaten public health and safety," Governor Brown wrote.

Friday, May 1

  • Oregon health officials report 69 new cases of coronavirus along with one new death. There have now been 104 deaths attributed to COVID-19 with 2,579 confirmed cases in the state.
  • Governor Kate Brown announces contact tracing and coronavirus testing are key as Oregon moves to gradually loosen restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of the virus. Governor Brown also states some rural counties that have seen fewer impacts could begin to reopen as early as May 15.
  • On Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization of the drug remdesivir for treatment of coronavirus patients. Though the drug is still only in early trials for treating COVID-19, National Institutes of Health director Dr. Anthony Fauci heralded the results as "clear-cut evidence that [the] drug works."

Thursday, April 30

Wednesday, April 29

Tuesday, April 28

  • Oregon public health officials announce 31 new cases of coronavirus along with seven new deaths. There have now been 99 deaths and 2,385 cases in the state.
  • In a weekly report, the Oregon Health Authority offered a new total of recovered cases in the state. Of 2,253 surviving cases at the time of the report, 860 (38.2 percent) were considered recovered, and 785 (34.8 percent) were not yet recovered. 607 cases (26.9 percent) have yet to be assessed by the agency.
  • Costco Wholesale stores will require all customers who enter to wear a mask or face covering that covers their nose and mouth. This rule change will go into effect next week.

Monday, April 27

  • Oregon public health officials announce 43 new cases of coronavirus along with one new death. There have now been 92 deaths and 2,354 cases of coronavirus in the state.
  • Two more states have joined a regional pact for coordinating the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, Gov. Kate Brown announced on Monday. The governors of Colorado and Nevada announced on Monday that they would join Oregon, Washington, and California in the group.
  • Fourteen people have tested positive for coronavirus in connection with Shutter Creek in Coos County.

Sunday, April 26

  • Oregon public health officials announce 58 new cases of coronavirus and four new deaths. There have now been 91 deaths and 2,311 confirmed cases in the state.

Saturday, April 25

  • Oregon is set to receive around 4 million KN95 masks next week. The state is also obtaining an N95 mask disinfecting machine that can clean 85,000 masks per day.
  • The state announces 76 new coronavirus cases. Coos County officials report the ninth case at the Shutter Creek Correctional Institution, the first spread through community transmission.

Friday, April 24

  • A second coronavirus-related death is reported in Lane County.
  • Oregon public health officials have identified 51 new coronavirus cases along with three new deaths. There are now 2,177 confirmed cases in the state with 86 total deaths.
  • Eight inmates test positive for coronavirus at Shutter Creek.
  • University of Oregon announces plans for honoring the Class of 2020.
  • The Oregon State Fire Marshall announces the temporary rule change that allows self-service pumping at gas stations will be extended through May 9, in order to help maintain social distancing procedure. The temporary rule was announced on March 28 and has already been extended once.

Thursday, April 23

Wednesday, April 22

  • Oregon public health officials report 57 new cases of coronavirus. The state now has 2,059 confirmed cases with 78 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Tuesday, April 21

  • The Oregon Health Authority release new coronavirus testing guidelines giving priority to front-line workers and others who regularly interact with the public. The new guidelines have been put in place "to prioritize impacted populations and all front-line workers," said the OHA.
  • Coquille Valley Hospital offers coronavirus antibody testing.
  • Three more people have died and there are 46 new cases, OHA says.
  • Eugene Pro Rodeo is officially canceled, organizers say.
  • Gov. Kate Brown updates the framework for reopening the state, but the plans are not final.

Monday, April 20

Sunday, April 19

Saturday, April 18

  • The Oregon Health Authority announces 59 new cases of coronavirus in the state along with 2 new deaths. The total number of deaths rises to 72 with a total of 1,844 confirmed coronavirus cases statewide.
  • FEMA provides millions to Oregon for the purchase of personal protective equipment.

Friday, April 17

  • Oregon public health officials announce six more deaths and 49 new cases of coronavirus. There have now been 70 deaths and 1,785 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Oregon.
  • Governor Kate Brown issues an executive order barring creditors from garnishing federal stimulus funds bound for Oregonians' bank accounts. “These recovery checks were meant to provide relief, not reward debt collection agencies for preying on Oregonians who have lost their livelihoods due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Brown.
  • A drive-by rally at the Oregon Capitol urges the governor to reopen the state, but others told KEZI 9 News they hope officials pump the brakes on reopening.

Thursday, April 16

  • Oregon public health officials announce six more deaths as well as 73 new cases of coronavirus. There have now been 64 deaths and 1,736 confirmed cases in the state. A Benton County woman is among the most recent deaths.
  • Governor Kate Brown issues a new executive order directing local and state government agencies to keep the public involved in decision-making processes, despite social distancing measures. “Public participation in government decision-making is fundamental to our representative form of government,” said Brown.
  • President Donald Trump issues a three-part plan for reopening the economy.
  • Oregon will be receiving millions in child care grant funding.

Wednesday, April 15

Tuesday, April 14

Monday, April 13

  • Oregon, Washington, and California announce a "West Coast Pact" to coordinate reopening the economies of all three states based on input from public health experts.
  • Governor Kate Brown says that the state will commit $8 million to aid the struggling Oregon Food Bank, which has seen a dramatic rise in demand and drop in donations.
  • OHA announces 57 new cases and one more death. Lane County reports four more cases and later in the day announces one more, and Douglas County adds three more cases.
  • University of Oregon announces it is reducing staff due to financial pressures from the pandemic.
  • Distance learning launches in the state of Oregon for all public school students.

Sunday, April 12

  • Oregon announces one new death and 80 new positive cases in the state. There are now 52 deaths and 1,527 confirmed cases.

Saturday, April 11

Friday, April 10

  • The Oregon Employment Department says that it has begun adding the $600 supplement to weekly unemployment benefits funded in the federal CARES Act, though many people continue to report being unable to get through in order to file a claim.
  • Oregon reports four more deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the state total up to 48. With 51 new cases, the total positives rises to 1,371.
  • Governor Brown issues a statement that early inmate release will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration which inmates are at high risk during the pandemic.

Thursday, April 9

  • Governor Brown says that the state has delivered new rapid on-site COVID-19 testing machines to three hospitals in rural Oregon counties in order to boost their limited ability to conduct testing.
  • Oregon reports that it received almost 270,000 initial unemployment claims in the three weeks since the COVID-19 crisis truly took off in the state. Officials say that additional federal unemployment benefits of $600 per payment will begin coming out within the week.
  • Oregon reports six more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the state death toll up to 44. With 83 new confirmed cases, the state total rises to 1,321. Two of the recent deaths took place in Linn County and one in Benton County.

Wednesday, April 8

Tuesday, April 7

  • Governor Brown determines to extend the executive order banning dine-in at restaurants, originally set to expire April 14. It now lasts indefinitely, the same as Oregon's stay-at-home order.
  • The state sees an apparent lull, with only 49 new confirmed cases. Still, four more deaths are recorded due to COVID-19.
  • Fred Meyer begins limiting the number of customers allowed inside their stores.
  • Lane County sees one new case, and says more than 1,000 tests have been conducted.

Monday, April 6

  • Oregon reports 64 new cases, bringing the state total to 1,132. With two new deaths, the total rises to 29.
  • Eugene sets up more temporary shelters to help the homeless during the pandemic.

Sunday, April 5

Saturday, April 4

  • Oregon reports 100 new cases, bringing the state total to 999. Four more people die due to the virus, bringing the death toll to 26.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says that Oregon will send 140 ventilators to the East Coast state, which has become the nation's epicenter for COVID-19 cases. Governor Kate Brown confirms that this is the case, as New York is in greater need.
  • A Eugene couple return home after spending a month on a cruise ship due to the coronavirus.

Friday, April 3

Thursday, April 2

Wednesday, April 1

  • Governor Brown issues a new executive order expanding on a moratorium on residential evictions. The new order also bans commercial evictions, as well as late fees charged for either circumstance.
  • Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oregon rise to 736, with one more death.
  • Lane County reaches 20 cases of coronavirus.

Tuesday, March 31

  • The state says that it is due for a major shipment of personal protective equipment from FEMA to be distributed out to local public health agencies for frontline health care workers. Despite massive amounts of PPE already distributed in the state, there is an ongoing shortage.
  • Officials with the Oregon Department of Education admit that there is a "strong possibility" students will not return to school before summer.
  • Oregon announces 84 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the state total up to 690. Two more elderly Oregonians die, raising the state death toll to 18.

Monday, March 30

  • Oregon Health Authority announces 58 new cases of the coronavirus bringing the state total to 606 cases. Three more fatalities announced as well, bringing the total to 16.

Sunday, March 29

  • The state announces 69 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 548.
  • The White House makes a disaster declaration for Oregon. “This declaration is an important first step towards unlocking all available federal resources for Oregon’s state, tribal, and local response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I appreciate the responsiveness of Vice President Pence and federal administration officials to our requests for aid," said Governor Kate Brown.

Saturday, March 28

Friday, March 27

  • A ninth case of coronavirus is announced in Lane County. The man is currently in the hospital.
  • OHA announced nearly 100 new cases, spread across 16 counties, including Linn, Lane, and Douglas counties. One more person has died.

Thursday, March 26

Wednesday, March 25

Tuesday, March 24

Monday, March 23

Sunday, March 22

Saturday, March 21

Friday, March 20

Thursday, March 19

Wednesday, March 18

Tuesday, March 17

Monday, March 16

Sunday, March 15

Saturday, March 14

  • The first death from COVID-19 is reported in Oregon. Health officials say it was a 70-year-old Multnomah County man who had underlying health conditions.
  • The Oregon Health Authority reveals six new people who tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the state total up to 36 cases. Three of the cases are in Washington County, two cases in Deschutes County, and one new case in Linn County.

Friday, March 13

  • Oregon schools begin announcing their plans after Governor Brown mandates K-12 school closures through the end of March. This includes the organization of free "grab and go" lunches for students during at least part of the closure.

Thursday, March 12

Wednesday, March 11

  • In a video updated posted on Wednesday morning, Governor Kate Brown reveals that six of Oregon's COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized. She also outlines new state guidelines for long-term care facilities that would restrict visitation in order to limit residents' exposure to coronavirus.
  • Oregon health officials announce four new presumptive cases in the state, bringing the total up to 19. The new cases are reportedly in Polk, Marion, Umatilla, and Deschutes counties and represent further examples of community spread.
  • Later in the day, officials revealed two more presumptive cases in a group veterans' home in Lebanon, Oregon.
  • Governor Kate Brown released a statement Wednesday night outlining "urgent new rules" throughout the state in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Tuesday, March 10

  • A new presumptive case of COVID-19 is identified, the first in Multnomah County. This brings Oregon's total up to 15 cases spread across seven counties.

Monday, March 9

  • The Oregon Legislative Emergency Board approves $5 million in state funding for coronavirus response, in addition to raising the ceiling for federal fund expenditures.
  • Officials say that there are no new cases identified on Monday, but 52 people still await testing.

Sunday, March 8

  • Governor Kate Brown declares a State of Emergency for the new coronavirus in Oregon, freeing up additional state resources.
  • Officials identify seven new presumptive cases throughout the state, all examples of community spread. This brings the state total up to 14.

Saturday, March 7

  • Oregon officials identify four new presumptive cases of COVID-19, three of them in southern Oregon. All three of those cases are said to be travel-related, not examples of community spread.

Wednesday, March 4

  • While Oregon experiences a period of "no new cases," Washington reports its 10th death from the virus and California notes its first.

Monday, March 2

  • Officials announce a third presumptive case of COVID-19 in Oregon, this one in a resident of Umatilla County. The person is hospitalized in Washington state while authorities work to track down and clean areas they had recently visited.

Sunday, March 1

  • The Oregon Health Authority confirms a second presumptive case of COVID-19 in an adult who lives in the same household as the first case. Eight other tests for other possible cases come back negative.

Friday, February 28

  • A high school near Seattle is closed for cleaning after a staff member's relative was quarantined and tested for COVID-19.
  • An older California woman tests positive for COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, marking the second case of unknown origin.
  • Governor Kate Brown forms a "Coronavirus Response Team" in preparation for potential outbreaks in Oregon.
  • Late in the day, Oregon officials announce the state's first presumptive case of COVID-19 — someone from Washington County who works for the Lake Oswego School District.

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