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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Coronavirus in Western Oregon

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Coronavirus in Western Oregon
Coronavirus in Western Oregon
Officials and experts answer your questions about the pandemic.

Kezi 9 news is on the go >> live, local, late breaking, this is a special presentation of kezi-9news, coronavirus in oregon.

>> it's critically important that we all follow these guidelines to protect ourselves and our neighbors.

Literally it's a matter of saving lives.

>> oregon governor brown says she's not ready to order the state to shelter in place for now but it could happen.

She says her staff is putting together a list of businesses considered crittedly important that would stay open if she moves forward.

For now she's reminding the elderly and anyone with compromised immunity to keep their distance.

Thank you for joining us for this spoash edition, coronavirus in western oregon.

>> we want to give you the latest numbers.

There are 88 cases in oregon, more than 1300 negative cases and health officials are still waiting for test results for 437 people.

>> you can see 18 of those cases are in linn county.

There are two cases in lane county and douglas county does have that single case.

We have a team of experts from our area.

They have each joined us but we're intentionally maintaining social distancing instead of having a panel discussion dr. patrick lud ce, lane county senior public health officer who has been providing daily updates.

>> dr. charlotte ransom, direct for for the emergency room at sacred heart.

>> dr. karen wiener is ceo of oregon medical group.

She will talk to us about what clinics are experiencing.

>> dr. halliday, for peace health oregon, are going to talk about how hospitals are responding.

>> first a bus driver is waiting for a test results after coming into contact with someone when has coronavirus.

They are still waiting for the results.

The district sent letters to 240 families of elementary and middle school children who were in contact with him.

The driver worked on march 10 and 11.

Important to remember this person has not tested positive for covid-19 yet.

So the children who were around this person are not necessarily considered an exposure.

>> to be exposed you have to be within six feet of someone who is infected for an hour or more.

Parents with questions can call the public health hotline.

>> we have taken hundreds of questions from viewers just since yesterday.

We want to get to as many of those as we possibly can.

We'll begin with dr. patrick lud ce.

>> how are you feeling compared to i guess a week or two weeks ago?

>> well, feeling pretty well actually.

We have a lot of good plans in place to endure what we may endure in the next weeks.

Our systems are in place, we're ready, we're trained.

Hopefully we won't need the skills but if we have to we're ready.

>> one of the questions we have gotten over and over is how many tests are available?

>> in lane county there are five possible ways of testing through five laboratories.

The main lab is the state public health laboratory, the first to do testing.

It has limited capacity and focuses on epidemiology.

The other four are private sector laboratories.

None have facilities in lane county so all the samples are sent to the main laboratories in other states.

The turn-around time takes a while for the results to come back.

>> a question from kim.

Are they able to give results locally or do they still have to send all of the tests off and does that apply to all facilities or just lane county's health department?

>> the actual testing is taking place outside lane county.

We're sampling people here in the county at all of the facilities you mentioned at the top of the story but those swabs do need to be sent away to other laboratories to be tested.

>> is the county health department telling people to stay home for 72 hours?

This is from marissa, or is the incubation period still at two weeks?

>> this is a tough question to answer in a limited period of time.

If someone is simply sick, if someone is sick and exposed to someone who was confirmed positive with the test each is different.

In general it's best to talk to your clinical provider or call the health department at the number you said up front.

>> we have a question from ron.

Since most people can't get tested if a person has all the symptoms when will they know if they are contagious?

>> still circulating in our community are all the usual viruses and bacteria we see every year during cold and flu season.

We have plenty of people hospitalized with cold viruses and influenza.

We want people to stay home if we're mildly ill.

There's little value to be tested and perhaps treated depending on the virus and we think that the best thing to do if you have mild symptoms, stay home.

More severe symptoms call your doctor ahead of time so they can prepare for you and make sure you expose as few people as possible when you arrive at their clinic.

>> we'll have more questions as they come in in the next half hour.

>> three firefighters are still in quarantine after taking a woman to river lends who died.

>> originally nine firefighters were isolated but six returned to duty.

They have been taking precautions to keep first responders and patients safe.

He says they are staffed 24/7 with 16 fire station open this.

Edo not wear protective gear on every call because they have a limited supply.

>> dr. charlotte ransom is one of our medical professionals on the front lines inside the emergency room.

>> we want to start with how things have been the past few weeks.

Pretty crazy?

>> we have actually had decreased numbers of patients in our emergency department over the past couple of weeks.

Of course there's a lot of concern and preparation for what might come in the next two weeks.

>> one woman told us her sister, you can talk to us at this point now, she told us her sister had all the symptoms but could not get tested.

>> as the doctor alluded to there's a limited number of tests and we have had to put parameters in place on who will be tested.

We have certain types of situations where it's appropriate to test patients we just don't have enough tests to test everyone.

>> keith wants to know since there's no specific treatment why do tests even matter.

If you treat someone with flu or other respiratory symptoms the same way?

>> in some ways that answer is yes but we want to know the prevalence of this in our community.

When patients are sick enough to be admitted to the hospital we know this particular virus can get worse quickly and people get sick very fast.

It's nice to know what year dealing with.

>> from don, what are the symptoms. i have heard feaster, cough, some of the things dr. lud ce talked about.

Sore throat.


What else?

>> unfortunately all of those symptoms can indicate coronavirus or covid-19.

This is why it's really important that just having the symptoms doesn't bring you into the emergency department, that you do only come in when you're feeling ill enough to come into the emergency department.

Otherwise cat your primary care provider or the health department for advice.

>> if people have many of those symptoms similar to the flu and others i wonder how rumors get spread so quickly.

>> jewel says she had the symptoms six or eight weeks ago.

>> one of the more local questions, if you get it once can you get it a second time?

>> we don't know the answer to that yet.

>> thank you so much.

>> douglas county is going to be holding its next drive-through testing clinic tomorrow.

>> they tested 17 people this week who showed symptoms at the douglas county fairgrounds.

The public officer says it's a good way to see multiple people in a short amount of time.

It took four minutes to move a patient through.

He says doing several tests in a row helps conserve valuable high-tech masks that are in short supply.

They started small so they could work out the kinks.

>> as you can imagine, hundreds of hours of work went into setting this up.

Lots of equipment and lots of other things.

>> you do need an order from your doctor to be tested.

It takes a few days to get the results back.

They are working to get more materials so they can offer more clinics as soon as next week and most insurance is covering the cost.

>> health officials are doing whatever they can to cut down on risk.

One thing oregon medical group is doing is providing over the phone care.

>> that's just the beginning.

Dir karen wiener joins us to talk about other precautions they have been taking.

>> yeah, so we started on monday by looking at our routine operations and changed them significantly to make a more virtual care clinic.

What that meant was repurposing our physicians from seeing lots of patients through the day to talking to lots of patients all through the day by phone.

We wanted to keep healthy people out of our clinics.

We wanted to keep minor illnesses out of our clinics and we wanted to talk with patients who are sick and find out whether they needed to come in or whether they were sick enough to go to the emergency room.

We wanted to start outreach it high risk patients that have chronic medical conditions to help them stay well through this pandemic.

Finally we just wanted to make sure we were taking care of each other in the clinic.

>> dr. wiener, this is the first day the spring.

We have know what that brings soon if not already.

How dot symptoms compare to allergies?

>> allergies are itchy, runny, sneezey.

No fevers.

It's not from allergies.

A deep cough would be a concern although coughing can also be an allergy symptom.

>> william wants to know is doing laundry in cold water enough to remove viruses or should you wash in hot water and throws in oit in the drier.

>> i'm partial to hot water but i don't know that there's a lot of information around covid-19 and hot water.

>> from carol is there any harm in hot tubbing with or without symptoms?

>> broad question.

I would say that as long as you can maintain six feet space between you and your friend then you can be in the hot tub.

>> do not want a packed hot tub right now, that's for sure.

Irene says she's very concerned about the population who has been vaping right now.

>> i am too.

When you have chronic irritation to your lungs you're more likely to be problems with respiratory viruses.

>> from george can your pets carry the west nile virus?

>> i understand there was one story of a dog getting sick but i don't think that that's a reliable -- i'm not worried about it.

>> thank you so much.

Stick around, we'll ask you some questions in the next half hour.

Hospitals and clinics are taking precautions to protect patients.

>> at peace health they are restricting all visitor access in eugene, springfield, cottage grove and florence.

They have few exceptions, people with mobility challenges and those in the e.r.

Can have one visitor.

Minors, new moms and end of life patients can have two.

>> dr. holliday is chief officer for peace health.

You have had to make a lot of very big decisions.

Have people been understanding about the new restrictions?

>> yes, they have been.

It's been tough decisions.

Very hard to limit visitors to people who are sick in the hospital.

But we can't emphasize enough how important it is to have social distancing, have people stay home where they can, limit the amount of people that are together at one time.

We have to make sure we flatten the curve so that the hospitals and our medical providers can keep up with the number of cases.

>> a lot of people of course are asking about supplies, how are the closets looking, does the hospital have enough masks and other needed supplies.

>> we do right now but we're concerned about it.

We are working on what's called a personal protection and we're working on having a conservation plan for t.

We're also reaching out, actually lane county is, to dental offices and other offices not doing procedures right now to see what we can do to increase our supply in the county.

>> nancy wants to know could you please let people know the importance to not use masks and gloves thinking that they are safe to do so.

We talked to dr. ludke about this before.

You wear it you think you're safe and you're not.

>> that's absolutely right.

If somebody is sick they should wearing the mask.

It doesn't help for you to wear a mask.

If you wear a mask all day and it gets wet it's not effective any more.

>> from don, we heard this yesterday one of the story we saw from overseas, maybe france.

Can ibuprofen and elderberry make the symptoms worse?

>> you know, we don't have enough evidence to say that.

We have there's been anecdotal reports that ibuprofen may not be the thing to take, might make it worse, but we don't know for sure.

I don't know about elderberry.

>> thank you.

Stick around.

We'll check in with you in the next half hour.

Mckenzie willamette medical center is closed to visitors with a few exceptions.

Patients under the age of 17 can have one visitor a day.

So can patients who are developmentally disabled or those having surgery.

Women in labor can have two visitors and all have to be cleaned.

>> mercy medical center in roseburg is closed to visitors.

The only exception is compassionate care visitors.

One allowed for labor and delivery, hospice, surgeries, procedures and facilitation of care.

>> no visitors being allow the in coos bay.

The exceptions are parents of pediatric patients and the partner of someone giving birth.

>> certainly a lost students may be enjoying this time off but it's been very difficult for others.

>> it's just a lot of landmarks in life that you look forward to your senior year that hopefully we'll still be able to do.

>> some high school seniors know they are missing out on major milestones.

>> superintendents in >> welcome back.

While a lot of students of course may be enjoying this extra time off it's been very difficult for a lot of of others.

>> all public schools have been shut down until april 28.

High school seniors from all over the area put on the package tonight raise money for children's miracle network.

It's been hard on the seniors who have worked very hard.

Plus they could miss out on big milestones like prom and graduation.

>> i would like to get to walk across the stage.

I don't know if i want to go to college.

It may be my only chance to.

>> i'm trying to the valedictorian but if we don't graduate that doesn't work.

I'm trying to play baseball in college.

Not being able to play baseball pretty frustrating.

>> the osaa has suspended all practices and contests through april 28.

School districts across state are working nonstop to figure out what's going to happen after spring break.

Are students going to transition to online learning.

>> will the school year eextendd?

What about graduation.

Chris para is here to answer some of those questions.

>> chris, your offices have to be flooded with questions from parents.

What do you think the top few things parents want to know?

>> actually we have not been flooded with tremendous amounts of questions.

I think that school districts have been working hard to get communication out to families as quickly as it's coming to us.

I think parents are understanding that we don't have all of the answers right now.

The number one question is, however, about high school graduation and high school in general.

>> can you tell us what your plans are after spring break?

I know you're still waiting for word from the top.

Any ideas yet?

>> we have been pretty busy preparing for staff to return after spring break.

In a couple of areas.

We have staff who are going to be learning new ways of working together, collaborating, distance, lots of distance in between them.

Getting those enrichment and supplemental materials ready for families.

We also are getting ready to gear up for expanding child care.

We know our first responders are counting on us to provide child care and we are going to be expanding those sites.

I think a lot of people think because we're in the business of educating students that child care would be a simple pivot, but child care has a whole different set of guidelines and regulations that schools are not regulated by so we're learning as fast as we can what we need to do to get those child care centers up and running.

>> in terms of the academic requirements do you think the state will be sending down waivers so kids can graduate on time?

>> that's on the minds of all superintendents, principals, legislators and oregon department of ed as well as the governor.

My guess is yes.

>> all right, i guess is there any risk that kids won't graduate on time?

>> i think that there's a lot of complexities on that.

What does on time mean is particularly if we're extending school years and things like that.

There will be some adjustments and likely some prioritization of students.

But we also want to make sure that students who have the ability to graduate that we're also looking at students who may need supplemental or extra support that they would have had during the school year had we been in session.


It's a bit complex.

>> what do you say to students who are worried about missing school, missing their friends, teachers.

It's a tough time for a lot of kids right now.

>> it is.

There was a sweet story from one of our parents who talked about just that yesterday with one of the principals, that their child was worried about staff and worried about their school, wanting to make sure everything is okay.

We would say to kids that our staff are fine.

We're going to be in contact with them after spring break, making personal phone calls home.

We can't wait to see them when they return.

>> how are you continuing with the mental health support for students and families and a other health services that come with it?

>> in bethel school district we crl or health center to be as well as our school nurses who have been field ago lot of questions from our families as well to be an essential service.

So our health center has remained open.

We have a nurse practitioner on site.

We also have therapists on site.

Then after spring break we will also have our school councilors who will be making contact with families and being able to provide additional support.

In a way that we haven't been able to do this week.

>> hopefully we have answered a lot of questions for folks and maybe saved some phone calls and emails.

Thank you for your time.

We much appreciate it.

As you heard, there are more questions than answers for all the school districts out there.

>> we talked to superintendent valderes about what answers he has for parents.

>> our kids need to be in school.

>> foor school administrators every day brings a new twist and no easy answers.

>> we have lots of questions.

We have lots of questions.

>> he says his north star is following governor kate brown's directives.

That means feeding the district's 17,000 students and keeping his 2700 staff members on the payroll.

It also means coming up with a plan to help kids continue their education.

>> we will be coming out with a supplemental education plan to relay hopefully this week.

What that looks like we don't know yet.

>> the district has created five leadership teams to work through the daily challenges.

As for the school year the plan for now is to end on schedule in the middle of june.

>> we may be able to extend out but we can't extend out too much.

>> when it comes to academic standards he says he knows a lot of parents have questions and he says he's hoping to have answers soon as they get more direction from the state department of education.

>> a lot of questions about what happens with junior and seniors, graduation is right around the corner.

Those are all unknowns.

>> you have a senior now.

>> yes.


>> so many people have been filing for unemployment in oregon it was too much for the website.

>> advice, if you still need to filing, we'll look at the latest plans economy >> the department is asking people to be patient.

>> more than 18,000 people filed claims before the governor issued an order for restaurants to top serving in their facilities.

The unemployment website was off and online monday and tuesday.

Officials say their systems have been overwhelmed since the governor's executive orders.

>> the governor has made this emergency thing, which i understand.

It's important to keep people safe.

But there is no safety net.

I would not have been unemployed except for the governor's emergency thing so why do the people affected by that have a waiting week to begin with system.

>> if you're having a tough time filing continue to call in.

You can leave a message this.

Le call you back.

To file online you need your social security number, work history over 18 months.

>> this is having an effect on many of the 155,000 oregonians who work in restaurants and bars.

The governor has banned them forever four weeks but they can still offer carry-out and delivery.

>> more so about the workers.

Hard if they can't work and make rent.

What happens then?

>> we're keeping exposure low, not putting ourselves at excessive risk.

>> some other ways to keep businesses afloat, order stuff from online stores, buy gift cards, or company merchandise.

If you're using cash to do your shopping don't forget to wash your hands.

Research shows there's a ton of germs on paper money including viruses and bacteria that can live about 48 hours on most surfaces.

Maria sanchez wants everyone to know they are taking every precaution.

>> they don't have to worry about anything.

Everything is is clean.

We prepare the same things.

We wash our hands all day.

I understand that they are very scared about this but they don't have to.

>> she says they do wash their hands after every transaction with money and before touching any food.

Health officials say you should also wipe down your debit card and wash your hands after every transaction.

>> the ymca in eugene keeping their numbers close while keeping their distance.

>> they closed their doors until april 1 but their staff is making hundreds of calls a day asking what they need.

One member -- said the y was their only social connection.

Others said the call was exactly what they need.

>> i love how they are calling people, check not guilty to make sure especially elderly folks to make sure they are okay.

I love that they are checking on us.

Our kids go to the y, so it was nice to get that call and to also know that they are doing what they can to support their folks.

>> they are filming workout videos to access at home on youtube.

The eugene building is getting a deep cleaning so it's ready to go when the time comes.

>> a lot of gyms across the country have closed their doors.

A former oregon football player that found an alternative method to do right in your home.

Lewis is the head trainer for ten-minute fix aallows people to work out without going to the gym or using heavy equipment.

>> it's a safer option because we're so much in social distancing that it allows you to maintain your health at the convenience of your home.

We have a plan with ten-minute fix to continue to make content that is progressively harder but maintain that for ten minutes.

>> another option to get out and about, wildlife safari is still open.

The executive director says their unique setting allows families to stay in their vehicle and enjoy the park.

>> we have had a lot of people ask about social distancing outside and with family members as >> for more on that and more of >> this is a kezi-9news special report.

>> golfer brown says she's not ready to order the state to shelter in place for now but it could happen.

Thank you for joining us for our special.

>> the governor says her staff is putting together a list of businesses considered critically important that would stay open if it does happen.

For now she's reminding the elderly and anyone with compromised immunity to keep their distance.

The governor also confirmed a second shipment of personal protective gear has arrived.

It has 25% of what it requested.

>> we're going to check back with our team of experts.

First the very latest numbers.

>> there are 88 cases in oregon, more than 1300 negative cases.

Health officials are still waiting for test results from 437 people.

>> you can see 18 of those cases are in linn county.

There are two cases in lane and douglas county has a single case.

Back it our question, dr. ludke we talked to you a week ago live on our set.

How have things i guess so quickly sped up and rapidly changing by the minute has any of this really surprised you?

>> it hasn't surprised us at lane county public health.

We have been anticipating and planning for it.

It's similar to the experiences we have seen in other countries and other states.

It's not really a surprise.

>> can you tell us what is standing in the way of using local research labs for testing like the u of o?

>> that's a good question.

Doing work with human samples has a lot of extra safety factors built in.

Research labs typically don't have those built in.

They also have liability issues.

You could imagine a research lab that builds a test then that test is positive or negative turns out it's wrong and that affects patient care negatively, how do you build in the risks.

It's a tough proposition.

>> one thing we haven't seen enough of we talked about the people infected, about the number of people being monitored.

The number of cases coming back negative is staggering.

>> it is quite high.

We really do believe when we're in a situation with limited testing capacity we have to test those persons who the most risks up front so we're working with our provider community, our hospitals, our urgent care and other clinics to make sure we're preserving those limited resources that reside in laboratories.

>> we have a -- how long coronavirus can stay.

They want to know about mail, letters, packages, bottoms of socks, shoes, coats, keys, just about everything.

Does it stick around?

>> oh, this is going to be a long show.

I would say first of all there are some studies on other coronaviruses, four main groups.

This is a beta.

People who have long memories probably remember the others, sars and mers are two of them.

Certainly a large number of our products that can clean things will clean this virus away and kill it as well and we suspect, we don't have perfect data, we suspect the length of time it lives on these products is similar to sars and other viruses.

Most typically a couple of days at most.

If you look at mail it may take several days to reach you.

By the time it reaches you there's no virus on it.

>> why aren't daycares being checked for coronavirus?

A question from kelly, as are the nursing homes and if more kids are in daycare that does that put more people at risk there?

>> we do know that pediatrics patients are at much less risk for this disease.

That means we probably don't need to test then and they probably aren't spreading it as much as adults are.

We are in the learning phase.

I suspect there will be changes as we go forward.

>> our room is full of medical leaders in the community.

How are you staying positive, keeping the others that you're communicating with positive?

That leadership is critical?

>> i have to say in many cases if this is nothing new to us.

We had a big meningitis outbreak, psi ca, we have had lots of issues.

So we're well practiced and we stay positive first because we're good at it and secondly we're prepared for it.

>> can you tell us what a test kit is?

>> great question.

It's really confusing.

Some think it's a test right there and you'll get the results in a few hours.

Typically it's just the swab and the transport media the virus needs to stay alive until it gets to the lab.

We like to say a specimen collection kit.

It's not the kit that does the test.

>> thank you so much.

We really appreciate you joining us here tonight.

Health care workers doing whatever they can to keep at risk patients separated from others.

>> douglas county is going to be holding its next drive-through testing clinic tomorrow at the douglas county fairgrounds.

They say this is a great way to see multiple people in a short time that's safe for patients and providers.

Took about four minutes to move a patient through.

You do need an order from your doctor to be tested and they are team working to more materials so they can offer more clinics as soon as next week.

>> let's get back into the emergency room to see what's being done to keep patients and health care workers safe.

>> how are you handling all the patients?

Are you seeing a lot of extra patients?

>> our volumes are down at the moment.

I think part of that is because people are tending to stay home more.

But we are preparing for a surge if it comes.

>> what's the number one obstacle you face now?

I have heard it said many times, stay away if you're not feeling well.

>> that's a great message.

I think that there are a lot of people who are doing that.

I think that there are more people who could be doing that.

Our biggest obstacle now in the hospital is that people would like to be tested and we just don't have resources to test everyone who would like to be tested.

Hopefully that will change.

>> let's talk about you can't get into too much detail.

How is your staff doing inside the walls?

They are working long hours, dealing with a lot of stress and they have families too.

What's it like working with them?

As i asked the doctor, what's it like keeping the team motivated or is it just their nature?

>> it's partially their nature.

We take care of sick people.

We're not afraid to take care of sick people.

Obviously there's some anxiety over what is to come in the next couple of weeks but we have a great team and i think we're ready.

>> thank you so much for joining us.

>> sure.

>> three firefighters are still in quarantine after taking a woman to riverbend who died.

>> originally nine were isolated but six were returned to duty.

They say they are taking precautions.

They are staffed 24/7 with 16 stations open.

They don't wear protective gear on every call because they have a limited supply.

>> want to get back in with dr. andrea halliday, chief medical officer for peace health, to talk about what's being done to keep the first responders safe.

>> again, it's a matter of taking operation desert fox are precautions and we're asking if someone has symptoms that the providers wear masks and there's a special kind of mask that they are asking them to wear if someone comes in with cardiac arrest into the emergency room.

We're doing everything we can to appropriately use our protection equipment so that we don't run out.

>> we have heard those i guess i'll say kind of complaints about these supplies not being allocated out to various hospitals and things like that, emergency responders.

Is there any frustration there?

How is your staff dealing with things where you are?

>> our staff has been amazing.

Our medical staff, care-givers, they are stepping up to the plate.

They understand that this is what we do.

We take care of sick people.

I couldn't say more about them.

There's a lot of preparation going on at our major hospital at riverbend and also university district so that we will have the capacity to take care of anyone in this community that gets sick.

>> we obviously heard about the first death in lane county earlier this week.

Is that hard on your staff?

>> could you say that again?

>> we heard about the first death in lane county.

How does your staff deal with that?

>> that's a great question.

They took it in stride.

We knew it was just a matter of time.

We have putting people in quarantine.

We have actually changed now that the requirements that if somebody does not have symptoms and they have been exposed they can wear a mask and we're looking forward to the point where we actually have testing more available and can more widely test our health care workers.

>> i think everyone is looking forward to that.

>> anything else you want the public to know?

>> we are preparing.

We have spent every day all day making sure that we are ready in case this ramps up in lane county.

We are meeting with doctors and with our nurses to understand which doctors can do what and how we would make available increased icu care, increased ebvcare.

We are opening up space to meet the needs of the community.

We're ready.

>> thank you for spending time with us.

>> sounds simple but people are trying to come to grips with not shaking hands to greet people.

>> you may remember in germany a cautious minister said no, thanks, to a handshake from chance letter merkel.

What about manners and respect?

A doctor says shaking hands is a social norm and can be hard to change.

She says try being honest.

>> go with verbal strongly say, hi, how are you, something like that then say, i'm not shaking hands right now.

In some societies they do a bow.

We have seen that's something some people are picking up now.

>> she says you can also elbow bump.

>> we have heard a lot about social distancing.

We'll check in with dr. karen wiener.

What about play dates?

Playground equipment?

>> it's hard right now with schools out and children are home.

It's spring, it's beautiful outside.

I think it's important to get kids outside to play, get fresh air.

But we really need to practice social distancing.

That's for the children as well.

>> cheryl wants to know she says we're grandparents in our 60s.

We watch or grandchildren who are two and seven.

Is that okay?

>> keeping young children away from grandparents is difficult but probably a good idea if you can avoid being around union children and you're 65 and older it's the s safe thing to be doi.

>> fees at national parks were waived temporarily.

Let's talk about getting outside, taking a walk.

It's safe?

>> it is.

It's important to get outside, get fresh air not only for your physical well-being but for your mental and emotional well-being as well.

>> thank you for your time in sharing your evening with us.

>> not all students are missing out on class in oregon.

>> how one high school is keeping distance and why administrators >> welcome back.

A lot of students are enjoying extra time off.

For others it's bittersweet.

>> for high sewell seniors they will miss out on milestones many have looked forward to for months, even years, like their senior prom, graduation or final season in their spring sport.

Kennedy layton is a multi sport athlete.

She understands we need to make sacrifices to stay safe and missing what was supposed to be her first track meet of the season is hard.

>> it's best for staying safe even though that's frustrating and things are canceled it's best for all of us.

>> she says athletes have been trying to do stuff on their own to stay motivated but for now the osaa has suspended all practices and contests through april 28.

Most students are out of class but some are still learning.

>> 9news reporter jacob roberts shows how students are learning from a distance at maris high school in eugene.

>> a normally bustling campus silent.

No bells between classes, no students walk the halls.

>> this is an unprecedented situation.

>> for high school principal stacy baker it's been the ultimate learns sperng.

>> monday was the first day the school implemented what it calls remote learning.

>> we're running a normal bell schedule that they would be on if they were here at school.

>> just like at school attendance is mandatory but the kids are at home, classes are online and lessoned pre-recorded.

>> this will be the in uh normal for a while.

>> students say their normally packed school day has been turned upside down.

Now they are cooped up at home requiring them to change the way they think about their day.

>> they say doing classes online gives structure but keyboard and screen don't give them the social interaction that they need.

>> the social aspect has been taken away.

Days feel quite a bit longer.

>> the technology connectedness is not the same as our human connectedness.

>> just graduating on time is one concern, having an actual ceremony is another concern.

>> i get choked up for our kids thinking about that part.

I'm not sure i'm thinking about lots of different ways that things could be done differently.

>> but teachers say there's one thing students don't have to worry about changing.

>> we're still absolutely here for you and we are ready to respond to you however you need us to.

>> jacob roberts, kezi, 9news.

>> lawmakers continue to find ways to put money back >> the president has given the green light for relief bill for workers impacted by coronavirus now lawmakers are focusing on a $1 trillion plan to help stabilize the economy.

The bill includes provisions for free coronavirus testing and paid emergency leave and now lawmakers are looking at an economic rescue plan.

Senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is proposing direct payments of $1200 per person or 2400 for couples as early as next month.

That plan would also funnel cash to businesses to help keep workers on the job.

>> speaking of workers a number of unemployed is skyrocketing as service employees are being laid off by the tens of thousands.

Here is anchor china green joined by the ceo of eugene area chamber of commerce.

>> thanks for being here.

We'll get right to it.

There are so many job losses right now.

>> a lot of employers are in a place where they are trying to decide do i lay folks off or not?

A lot of our food service workers were laid off earlier this week.

It's temporarily unemployment benefits that triggered a lot of special allowances that the regular unemployment wouldn't.

They need to apply.

I know it's taking a long time to get through but they have to keep doing it.

The small business administration has a disaster relief loan fund that has to be triggered by our states.

The state of oregon, a bunch of business partners worked to collect impact stories to submit to the governor.

The governor submitted those to the federal government.

We're waiting for our formal go light.

We expect it by tomorrow.

Busibusinesses can get on to our business development website to see where they should apply.

>> last question, when people do return to work do they need a doctor's note?

>> we actually got a call from peace health saying if we can encourage employers to not require doctors' notes from their employees they are businebusyworking on other thin.

They should not force people to come with a doctor's note.

The doctors have plenty of other things to work on.

>> thanks for being here.

>> a lot of people are coming together to help their neighbors during this coronavirus crisis.

>> the manager of laughing planet helping to support families who rely on meal assistance programs. they say food irthat is love language.

If you need help, call ahead or show up.

Meals include a burrito or quesadilla, broccoli or corn, milk or juice.

>> that aligns with laughing planet's core values.

We're always thinking about how can we assist our community regardless of if this is happening or not.

>> they plan to continue this act of service for as long as the need is there.

>> some taxi drivers in eugene are also giving back.

>> eugene elite taxi and transportation is offering to pick up and deliver groceries and medication for free.

The owner says business has slowed and with extra time and the right resources she says it's the perfect chance to lend a hand and let people know they are not alone.

>> we only started about six weeks ago then this coronavirus hit.

So we haven't even had a chance to get started.

The community that was there for us right when we did start has been so wonderful and we want to be there for them.

I love this community.

Anything i can do to give back i want to give back.

>> they are offering services monday, wednesday and friday from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m.

If demand dproas they will expand their hours.

You can call for help.

>> a lane county diaper bank wants to make sure parents have the essentials.

They provide diapers to low income families in the area.

They set up at emerald bark in eugene last weekend to hand out diapers.

>> we just want to come together as a coment and support everybody.

Times are hectic and crazy.

We want to let parents know we are here for them no matter what.

>> if you or anyone you know needs diapers or other supplies, you're going to find a whole lot more information on our website at

Again for all things coronavirus you can go to our website.

There are a lot of them there from sports to nuts to weather.

All inclusive.

>> if we didn't get to your questions certainly email it to us.

We'll continue to check in with all the health experts in our area and others to get you the latest.



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