April 20, 2020

No new COVID-19 cases were reported in Union or Wallowa counties over the weekend. The total number of positive cases for Union County remains at four and Wallowa County remains at one. The total number of deaths in the state is now at 75. The total number of positive tests in the state are 1,956.

The Union County Chamber of Commerce has released a list of the restaurants and retail stores identifying the businesses hours of operations during COVID-19. The list also includes whether the restaurants offer takeout or delivery. Here is the link: https://visitunioncounty.org/…/union-county-covid19-update…/.

Grande Ronde Hospital is asking for donations of cloth masks. Cloth masks are a great way for the community to do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The hospital uses commercially produced medical masks and additional personal protective equipment (PPE) as necessary when caring for ill patients, but in order to keep patients safe, hospital staff is using the donated cloth masks when treating healthy patients. If you’re interested in learning more about how to make/donate cloth masks, you can find the guidelines at grh.org/covid19.

The NE Oregon Joint Information Center would like to remind the community to be aware of an increase in online scams from criminals looking to profit from fears about the COVID-19 pandemic. If you receive phone calls, emails, text messages or other communications that claim to be from any person or organization offering COVID-19 related grants or payments in exchange for your personal financial information, or asking for money, or advance fees or charges of any kind, PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND. These are scams.
To reduce the odds of falling victim to a scam, here are some suggestions to help protect yourself:
• Never open an attachment or click on a link from senders you don’t recognize. Even if you think you know the sender and it seems odd they’d send you information like this, contact them directly in another way to confirm it’s the real person.
• If you get an email, text or phone call that asks you to URGENTLY confirm your personal or financial information, IT’S A SCAM. The IRS, your bank, or any legitimate organization will never ask for sensitive information in this manner. When in doubt, contact the organization directly to ask if it was them.
• If shopping online, shop only with reputable retailers. Look for indicators that the website is secure, such as a small lock icon on the browser’s status bar, or that the address for a website that begins with “https” (the “s” stands for “secure”). Regularly check your bank statements and credit card bill for any suspicious charges.
• Warn your family, friends and loved ones about these scams, especially the elderly and those who are less “tech savvy” about the increased likelihood of scammers trying to obtain their money through email, text message, social media, or even a phone call.
While there are many legitimate and worthy organizations who we can help during this pandemic, please be diligent and make sure you know who you’re communicating with before you decide to help. Report COVID-19 fraud to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 1-866-720-5721.