Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline

WALLOWA COUNTY — It’s no secret that employers across the state are struggling to find workers. Business owners collectively furrow their brow at the trickle of job applications as more and more businesses open and the share of workers seems to be vanishing into thin air. Read more

LA GRANDE — Eastern Oregon sheriff’s offices reaffirmed they would not enforce the mask mandates Gov. Kate Brown set in place. As well, a number of sheriffs across Eastern Oregon, including in Baker and Union counties, have addressed the matter in letters to the governor stating they will not be enforcing any mask mandates. Read more

HERMISTON — Hermiston High School was buzzing with excitement Friday, Aug. 27, as new students entered for orientation. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County reported two COVID-19 deaths Monday, Aug. 30, raising the county’s death toll this month to 19. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — After Gov. Kate Brown’s announcement that all school staff, educators and volunteers must be vaccinated no later than Oct. 18, emotions have been mixed through the Umatilla County school systems — some have welcomed the announcement while others have pushed back. Read more

PENDLETON — The Oregon Health Authority reported two more Umatilla County COVID-19 deaths Monday, Aug. 23, raising the county’s death toll to 108 since the pandemic began. Read more

PENDLETON — In many parts of Eastern Oregon, the pandemic never has been worse. Read more

PENDLETON — The Oregon Health Authority is investigating a COVID-19 outbreak stemming from the Pendleton Whisky Music Fest. Read more

SALEM — The COVID-19 delta variant is spreading so fast that it will hit most of the state's unvaccinated population before the six weeks needed to be fully immunized if they were inoculated now. Read more

Oregon reported 2,056 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, a surge driven by the highly contagious delta variant that swept from India to the United States since May. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County reported two more COVID-19 deaths Friday, July 16, raising the county’s death toll to 91 since the pandemic began. Read more

Oregon will lift pandemic limits in place for over a year no later than next week, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County is one of six counties in Oregon that remained at high risk in Gov. Kate Brown’s latest, and final, coronavirus risk level assessment. Read more

Umatilla County will remain in the high risk category for COVID-19 for at least another week, according to the updated categories released by Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday, June 9. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County organizations have the opportunity to receive funding if they assist COVID-19 vaccination efforts as part of a new program to drive up the county’s dismal vaccination rates. Read more

Nearly all COVID-19 restrictions could be lifted in as early as just over two weeks, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday, June 4. Read more

Editor's note: The third death listed in this article was reported by the Oregon Health Authority, while the first two were reported by Umatilla County Public Health, which states on its website that the death toll for Umatilla County stands at 86. It is unclear whether the two reports of an… Read more

HERMISTON — There’s a small orange note that Michael Gormley, the owner of Neighborhood Books & Gifts in downtown Hermiston, plans to show his customers in the coming days. Read more

Announcements by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Governor. Kate Brown last week signaled a move toward fewer COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic begins to wane in the United States. Read more

A customer’s next lunch tab could be paid for, courtesy of the city of Hermiston. Read more

Hoping to pick up the pace of vaccinations, state and federal health officials are ditching their population-based distribution game plans to get more doses where they are wanted and needed. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County Commissioner John Shafer wants to send a clear message — he’s a Republican man choosing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more

HERMISTON — A vaccine clinic run by state health officials and several Eastern Oregon groups will be held at the Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church in Hermiston on Friday, April 30, and Saturday, May 1, according to the event’s organizer. Read more

Umatilla County is headed back to high risk status for COVID-19 a week earlier than expected after COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state surpassed 300. Read more

PENDLETON — As Umatilla County is likely headed back into the “high risk” category for COVID-19, the county is turning away vaccine allocations from the state because supply has outpaced demand. Read more

Morrow County officials canceled a vaccine clinic in Heppner on Tuesday, April 13, after federal health agencies recommended that states “pause” the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while officials investigate six reports of blood clots in women ages 18 to 48, out of nearly 7 million… Read more

MISSION — With more doses than appointments, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is once again expanding its eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more

Umatilla County will move to moderate risk level for COVID-19 on Friday, April 9, according to an announcement from Gov. Kate Brown. Read more

MORROW COUNTY — The Morrow County Public Health Department is partnering with state and federal officials to hold several COVID-19 vaccine clinics in the coming weeks. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County Public Health announced on Wednesday, March 31, that Oregon Health Authority gave the county approval to start vaccinating people in Phase 1B Group 7 effective immediately. Read more

Umatilla County saw 42 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the past week, from Wednesday, March 24, to Tuesday, March 30, according to Umatilla County Public Health. Read more

PENDLETON — Officials in Umatilla and Morrow counties are ramping up vaccine efforts after receiving approval from the state on Monday, March 22, to broaden eligibility to agricultural workers immediately in an effort to help a workforce hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — State and federal COVID-19 relief legislation will present more grant opportunities to businesses in April. Read more

Hermiston School District announced on Tuesday, March 23, that all students will return to in-person classes full time, five days a week starting April 13. Read more

More than 1 million new people are being added early to the eligibility list for COVID-19 vaccinations, Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday, March 19. Read more

Years ago, when my brother was a young Cub Scout, members of his troop each came home from an activity with their very own goldfish, to the surprise of their parents. Read more

Garett Robinson stood with his brother and a friend beside the fields bordering Hermiston High School, each holding signs calling for an end to a monotonous year with one message in common — “five full days.” Read more

Umatilla County saw 48 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed from March 10-16 and no new deaths, according to the regional dashboard maintained by Umatilla County Public Health. Read more

SALEM — Morrow County has been lowered from the moderate coronavirus risk category to lower risk, allowing restaurants, fitness and entertainment facilities to open at greater capacities, according to a press release from Gov. Kate Brown’s office on Tuesday, March 9. Read more

All Walmart stores in Oregon began scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments on Wednesday, March 10, according to a news release. Read more

Umatilla County’s COVID-19 numbers continue to decrease. Read more

PENDLETON — Last week, Umatilla County health officials received an email from the Oregon Health Authority promising counties across Oregon a sharp uptick in their weekly allocated COVID-19 vaccines — an increase from 700 doses to 2,400, including 1,600 more first doses of the Moderna vaccine. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County’s two state prisons finished the first step of immunizing all adults in custody against COVID-19 this week by successfully offering the first doses to all inmates, according to spokespersons from the two prisons. Read more

HERMISTON — Good Shepherd Health Care System expects to receive weekly COVID-19 vaccine allocations and will hold weekly vaccine events for those eligible under Oregon Health Authority guidelines.  Read more

Umatilla County had 71 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the seven days between Wednesday, Feb. 24, and Tuesday, March 2, according to the regional dashboard on Umatilla County Public Health’s website. Read more

Every adult in Oregon will be offered a vaccination against COVID-19 by July 1, with the two-shot vaccines reaching all adults who want it by August, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday, Feb. 26. Read more

Umatilla County has been moved from the extreme coronavirus risk category to the high risk category after county officials say they appealed to the state on Monday, Feb. 23. Read more

It was a big day for Hermiston School District’s youngest students as kindergarteners and first graders spent a day in person with their teacher for the first time on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — The Oregon Health Authority has reported the state’s first COVID-19-related death of a child between 0-9 years old — an infant boy from Umatilla County.  Read more

Umatilla County Public Health has released a schedule for COVID-19 vaccinations that runs through the end of April. Read more

Hermiston School District plans to bring more students back to the classroom with an expansion of hybrid learning to all elementary school students in early March. Read more

Umatilla County reported 81 new cases of COVID-19 between Feb. 10-16, according to Umatilla County Public Health’s regional dashboard. Read more

Good Shepherd Health Care System helped vaccinate Umatilla County’s first round of senior citizens on Friday, Feb. 12, after Oregonians age 80 and up became eligible earlier that week. Read more

Persons 75 and older become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination in Oregon on Monday, Feb. 15. Due to limited vaccine availability, not everyone who wishes to become vaccinated will be able to receive the vaccine the first week they are eligible. Read more

SALEM — A new report from Portland State University shows that an avalanche of looming evictions across Oregon could come with an eye-popping cost to society — $3.3 billion. Read more

Umatilla County’s rate of COVID-19 infections has slowed since January. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County is scheduled to receive 400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to begin vaccinating elderly residents next week as Oregonians over the age of 80 become eligible starting Sunday, Feb. 7, according to the county health department. Read more

As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to more people, health departments at the state and county level continue to release new information. The following are some frequently asked questions about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, compiled from information available from Umatilla … Read more

According to a news release from Umatilla County Public Health, the county will be receiving approximately 400 Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for residents age 80 and older next week. The following are opportunities listed in the news release to receive one of those doses: Read more

A $4.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will expand opportunities for free COVID-19 testing in the Hermiston area. Read more

Cookie lovers hoping to get their Girl Scout cookie fix while staying home and staying safe during the pandemic can buy Girl Scout cookies online from their local troop. Read more

As school districts in Umatilla County return students to the classroom, the preparation has looked much different than a normal school year. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County saw a sharp uptick in COVID-19 immunizations last week, as 2,559 county residents reportedly received the vaccine over a seven-day span between Jan. 22 and Jan. 29, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority. Read more

The AARP Foundation is offering free tax help for senior citizens at the Port of Morrow offices, on 2 Marine Drive in Boardman, every Friday from Feb. 5 through April 9. Read more

Hermiston High School’s parking lot has been mostly empty for the past year, but on Friday, Jan. 29, a long line of vehicles snaked through it, ending at a set of white tents. Read more

HEPPNER — Morrow County officials canceled COVID-19 vaccine events originally planned for Friday, Jan. 29, in Heppner and Feb. 5 in Boardman after learning that state health officials would be diverting the county’s next shipment of doses elsewhere. Read more

BOARDMAN — By the time the COVID-19 pandemic had started, Kathy Street already knew how crucial internet access could be. Read more

STANFIELD — It was weeks before the beginning of the summer lunch and reading programs at the Stanfield Public Library, and Cecili Longhorn realized the staff had yet to make a plan. Read more

Umatilla and Morrow counties will both remain in the state’s “extreme risk” category for COVID-19 for at least another 14 days, according to the update report released by Oregon Health Authority on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Read more

BOARDMAN — Oregon health officials are planning a free COVID-19 testing clinic on Jan. 26 at the Sage Center, 101 Olson Road, in Boardman, according to the Heppner Chamber of Commerce. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County health officials say the health department is scheduled to receive 700 doses of COVID-19 vaccine next week and has planned events to expand immunization efforts to educators. Read more

As the pandemic marches on, so do many local restaurants. Read more

Three inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 in the ongoing outbreak at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla died over the weekend, according to press releases from the Oregon Department of Corrections, bringing the death toll among adults in custody at the prison to seven since… Read more

Oregon is once against scrambling its priority list for COVID-19 vaccinations, with some seniors’ priority pushed from next weekend to March. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County Public Health announced three COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday, Jan. 13, and one death on Tuesday, Jan. 12, bringing the county's total to 64. Read more


Ben Lonergan/East Oregonian, File Read more

Umatilla County Public Health announced a total of 483 new cases of COVID-19 in the county in the seven-day period between Wednesday, Jan. 6 and Tuesday, Jan. 12. Read more

HERMISTON — It may look a little different than in years past, but the Umatilla County Fair is making plans for what it hopes is its first year back since the pandemic canceled most events in 2020. Read more

PENDLETON — Roughly 600 people streamed through the parking lot of the Pendleton Convention Center for a pair of COVID-19 vaccination clinics late last week, according to the Umatilla County Public Health Department. Read more

Umatilla County Public Health announced vaccine clinics available this week for those who qualify under Phase 1a, but have not yet received a vaccine. Read more

It was raining on Monday, Jan. 4, as about 20 students and parents stood on the street corner outside Hermiston School District’s offices, holding signs encouraging the district to return to in-person classes as soon as possible. Read more

PENDLETON — The Umatilla County Health Department announced the county’s 57th COVID-19 death in a Thursday, Dec. 31, press release. Read more

HEPPNER — Despite the cold weather, wind and drizzle, Morrow County Sheriff Ken Matlack appeared in a jovial mood on Wednesday, Dec. 30, awaiting his first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine beneath a tent in the parking lot of the Bartholomew Building in Heppner. Read more

Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston began administering its first COVID-19 vaccines at 7 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 28. Read more

The Oregon Health Authority updated its assessment of each county’s risk levels on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — More Oregon students will likely be returning to classrooms soon as Gov. Kate Brown announced on Wednesday, Dec. 23, that metrics for reopening classrooms would shift from mandatory rules to guidelines. Read more

HERMISTON — It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving when Phyllis Hansell awoke to a splitting headache. Read more

PENDLETON — The Umatilla County Health Department announced the county’s 55th COVID-19 death in a Wednesday, Dec. 23, press release. Read more

Umatilla County Public Health released an update on the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, Dec. 22, stating that the vaccine has arrived in the county in “very limited amounts.” Read more

Umatilla County Public Health reported 289 new cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County in the seven-day period between Dec. 16-22. Read more

Tina Haynie, a certified medical assistant with Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center in Mission, signs for the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine at the clinic on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. The clinic began inoculations of health care workers on Friday, Dec. 18, and planned to distribute all 30… Read more

Umatilla and Morrow counties remained on the state’s “extreme risk” list for COVID-19 as Oregon Health Authority updated its assessments of each county. Read more

The Oregon Health Authority’s weekly report of outbreaks of COVID-19 for Dec. 9 shows half of Umatilla and Morrow counties’ current workplace outbreaks began within two weeks after Halloween. Read more

The first of millions of expected vaccine doses needed to control the COVID-19 virus arrived in Oregon on Monday, Dec. 14, starting a process that could last into fall 2021. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Eastern Oregon chambers of commerce are warning local businesses of a protest effort that could target them. Read more

The Oregon Health Authority has expanded its weekly reports on COVID-19, including its workplace outbreaks list. Read more