Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline

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

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

UMATILLA COUNTY — It was 33 degrees during lunchtime on Friday, Dec. 4, but that didn’t stop some restaurants from offering outdoor dining. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County businesses can now apply to receive economic support from the state-funded CARES Act, which provided the county with up to $1.18 million in funds to be distributed to businesses that have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

The Umatilla County Public Health Department is partnering with local Hispanic outreach groups to distribute COVID-19 kits to Spanish-speaking farmworkers. The kits, which include cloth masks, sanitizer and educational materials, are an attempt to connect with a community that officials say … Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County Public Health announced the county's 50th COVID-19 death in a Wednesday, Dec. 2, press release. Read more

Umatilla County residents hoping to see COVID-19 restrictions lifted after the state’s two-week “freeze” ends on Dec. 3 will instead see a new slate of restrictions — some less restrictive, some more. Read more

SALEM — Pending federal approval, the first 35,100 of a COVID-19 vaccine shots could be administered in Oregon on Dec. 15, the governor's office confirmed on Monday, Nov. 30. Read more

With COVID-19 infection rates rising rapidly in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown said Wednesday that at least 21 counties will stay in a modified version of the two-week "freeze" through most of December. Read more

HERMISTON — The pandemic continues to disrupt the city of Hermiston’s finances, as the city’s ending fund balance in October was below the minimum reserve level set by the city council. Read more

Like everything else, the holiday shopping season will look a little different this year. Read more

Restaurant and other business organizations say the $55 million promised by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown for pandemic relief is a good first step, but not nearly enough to prevent widespread closures caused by her temporary “freeze” to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more

Oregon continued to set new records for COVID-19 cases day after day heading into Thanksgiving week, sparking concerns from state officials. Read more

HERMISTON — As gyms and most other recreational facilities shut down under Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order for a two-week “freeze,” some Umatilla County gyms are taking unique steps to stay open. Read more

HERMISTON — As shutdowns rippled across the world in the spring, they were implemented under the rallying cry of “flattening the curve” of new infection rates to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed and buy health care providers time to learn how to treat the virus’s sickest patients. Read more

Guidelines imposed because of COVID-19 have altered how people work, socialize and participate in recreational activities. Stay home orders, social distancing and restrictions on group gatherings have also changed how people engage in service organizations and volunteer activities. This seri… Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County Public Health announced three more county residents have died with COVID-19. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Oregon is being put on a “two-week freeze” in an attempt to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19, Gov. Kate Brown announced at a press conference on Friday, Nov. 13. Read more

Umatilla County is among nine Oregon counties on a two-week “social pause” to try to slow down a sudden surge in COVID-19 infections in the state. Read more

Five Oregon counties must have a "social pause" for two weeks to fight a spike in COVID-19 infections that led to a record 805 new cases on Thursday and nearly as many Friday. Read more

Hermiston School District announced Friday afternoon, Nov. 6, that it will pause all in-person student activities starting Monday, Nov. 9 until further notice. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — When Gov. Kate Brown announced new public health standards for schools to reopen, it allowed dozens of schools across rural Oregon to reopen their doors. Read more

MORROW COUNTY — Morrow County and the Tillamook County Creamery Association have made $300,000 in COVID-relief grants available to local businesses and nonprofits, according to a press release.  Read more

The Oregon Health Authority reported two new deaths of residents who tested positive for COVID-19 in Umatilla and Morrow counties on Tuesday, Oct. 27, according to a press release. Read more

The Hermiston Warming Station is preparing to open for the winter season on Nov. 23, but its capacity is likely to be significantly reduced due to COVID-19. Read more

Morrow County School District is allowing any student who wants to return to an in-person classroom to do so starting Wednesday, Oct. 28. Read more

For the Hermiston Police Department, it’s not too early to be thinking about Christmas. Read more

PENDLETON — A Hermiston private school, with a total enrollment of 51, is suing Gov. Kate Brown and several other state agencies with the help of a well-heeled conservative legal organization. Read more

Umatilla County remains on the governor’s COVID-19 watchlist as the state monitors the county’s progress on fighting the virus. Read more

For the first time since March, some of the desks at Hermiston School District schools have students in them again. Read more

Now in its 47th year, the farm fair is a signature showcase for Oregon State University's Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, or HAREC, which serves nearly 500,000 acres of irrigated agriculture across the Columbia Basin in northeast Oregon and southeast Washington. Read more

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Domestic Violence Services wants people to know the nonprofit is still going strong during the pandemic. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — More than a dozen cultural organizations in Umatilla County are set to receive more than $500,000 for relief from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release.  Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — In a move that loosened barriers for some schools in the state to begin in-person education, the Oregon Department of Education suspended use of the state’s COVID-19 test positivity rate metric for the month of September on Thursday, Sept. 24. Read more

For the last seven years, Erika Esparza has looked forward to the start of the school year bringing laughter and smiles back to the halls of Sunset Elementary School in Hermiston, where she works as the lead secretary. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the hallways at Sunset and all of the oth… Read more

Umatilla County reported six new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Read more

SALEM — Oregonians will be able to get hard liquor delivered directly to their home even after the pandemic is over. Read more

PENDLETON — Two Eastern Oregon counties made progress in the long road of recovering from the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, Sept. 18. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County reported the 40th death of a county resident who had tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla and Morrow counties didn’t add any new workplaces to the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly list of COVID-19 outbreaks for Wednesday, Sept. 2. Read more

Hermiston residents who have lost income because of COVID-19 can receive assistance with their rent, mortgage or utilities. Read more

Oregon will stay under the COVID-19 state of emergency in place since March until Nov. 3, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday, Sept. 1. Read more

Eastern Oregon students could get more free meals after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it was extending its funding options for districts in light of COVID-19. Read more

A $62 million relief fund is now accepting applications from Black residents picking up the pieces after the novel coronavirus shattered lives and livelihoods across Oregon. Read more

In March, Camille Munoz had just recently moved her Little Tots Daycare & Preschool in Hermiston from in her home to a new center location on Kik Road. She and her 10 employees and 47 day care and preschool children had more room to grow and learn. Read more

When patrons return to their favorite bars and restaurants, some of them may look a little different since the last time they visited. Read more

Umatilla County continues to closely track COVID-19 data as the county looks ahead to a possible return to Phase 2. Read more

It’s that time of year of where college campuses nationwide would be welcoming back students. Read more

Hermiston’s Parks and Recreation Department is encouraging people to stay home and stay safe on Labor Day weekend with a backyard camp out. Read more

Umatilla County was allowed to return to Phase 1 of reopening on Friday, Aug. 21, after its COVID-19 metrics improved significantly. Read more

Firefighters throughout the state have had a busy month fighting fires, and while some have been caused by lightning, a news release from the Oregon Department of Forestry states that human-caused fires are causing concern. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Oregon schools won’t be able to reopen for in-person instruction for roughly 200 days, and more restrictions may be coming for Oregonians statewide if the current rate of daily COVID-19 cases doesn’t sharply decline, Gov. Kate Brown said during a media briefing Friday, Aug. 21. Read more

The $500 Emergency Relief Check Program has exhausted its 70,000 available payments in just three days. Read more

The location of the free COVID-19 testing by the Oregon Child Development Coalition on Aug. 22-23 has changed. Read more

HERMISTON — Umatilla and Morrow counties added a few new outbreaks to the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly list of worksite COVID-19 outbreaks, but the area’s hospitals remain below capacity. Read more

Umatilla County has been approved to return to Phase 1 of reopening, according to Umatilla County Public Health. Read more

HERMISTON — Oregon Child Development Coalition will host free COVID-19 testing days in Hermiston and Milton-Freewater in Aug. 22-23. Read more

Oregon residents facing financial hardship from the COVID-19 crisis are eligible for $500 one-time checks in a program beginning Wednesday, Aug. 19. Read more

Umatilla County announced nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, Aug. 18, marking the first time in nearly two months that the county’s new cases were in single digits. Read more


A classroom at Sunridge Middle School in Pendleton sits empty on Aug. 13, 2020. The Pendleton School District and other districts throughout the region have implemented a transfer moratorium as a way to prevent competition between school districts as they navigate how to reopen. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton rose to the top of Oregon’s weekly workplace outbreak list for COVID-19 for the first time this week. Read more

SALEM — Applications are now live and open for Oregon’s Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Cultural Support program. Funds allocated to the Oregon Cultural Trust will be available to Oregon cultural organizations facing losses due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The $25.9 million in funding was made available through a $50 million relief package for Oregon culture recently approved by the Emergency Board of the Oregon Legislature.  Read more

Hermiston School District has announced that Maria Durón will serve as the district’s new family engagement specialist. Read more

Hermiston School District has narrowed its finalists for a new elementary school on Theater Lane down to three options, and is asking the public to help them choose between the three names: Artemisa Elementary School, Loma Vista Elementary School or La Senda Elementary School. Read more

As the economy continues to shift due to the pandemic, Umatilla Electric Cooperative is reminding area entrepreneurs of its revolving loan fund. Read more

After announcing an online-only start to the 2020-21 school year, Hermiston School District is encouraging parents to keep their child with the district. Read more

Businesses that received a Paycheck Protection Program loan now have more information available on how they can go about seeking forgiveness of that loan. Read more

Umatilla County’s new COVID-19 cases are still high compared to the rest of the state, but increasing less rapidly. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Money from the federal government’s COVID-19 relief package continues to trickle down to Umatilla County, which is using some of it for a small business COVID-19 relief grant program. Read more

HERMISTON — The Umatilla County Fair board has made additional adjustments to its plans for the fair on Aug. 11-15 in light of the county being sent back to baseline instead of Phase 1 status. Read more

HERMISTON — New workplaces in Umatilla and Morrow counties were added to the Oregon Health Authority's weekly report on workplace outbreaks of COVID-19, but some worksites were also moved to the "resolved" category after 30 days without a new case. Read more

HERMISTON — Umatilla Morrow County Head Start offers a wide variety of educational programs to children ages birth to 5 and pregnant mothers in both counties. Eligibility for federal and state-funded programs is based on income, with other programs considering higher income levels. Read more

Umatilla County Public Health announced two new deaths of residents diagnosed with COVID-19 on Tuesday, Aug. 4, bringing the county’s total to 25 deaths. Read more

Good Shepherd Health Care System has welcomed Dr. David Shanley, a family medicine physician, to the Good Shepherd Primary Care Clinic at 620 N.W. 11th St., Suite 103, in Hermiston. Read more

Umatilla County residents had been bracing for a possible return to Phase 1 reopening restrictions after the county’s cases of COVID-19 per capita continued to outpace the rest of the state, but on Friday, July 31, the county got sent all the way back to the baseline “stay home” level first … Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — The Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation has $370,000 in state grant funds available for small businesses and 501 (c) (3) nonprofits in Eastern Oregon. Read more

Hermiston School District had already seen the writing on the wall for an online-only start to the school year, but for some Eastern Oregon school districts, new metrics from the Oregon Department of Education mean a change in plans. Read more

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