Coronavirus (COVID-19) Timeline

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

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


Laptops charge in a classroom at Armand Larive Middle School in Hermiston on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The Hermiston School District will begin the year with distance learning. 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

HERMISTON — Oregon State University researchers believe 17% of Hermiston residents were positive for COVID-19 during the university's door-to-door testing period on July 25-26. Read more

HERMISTON — The Umatilla County Fair has announced a change in plans for fair week, Aug. 11-15. Read more

In addition to an online-only start, Hermiston School District will also start school later than usual in the fall. Read more

The new government mandated restrictions under Phase 2 have affected some businesses in Hermiston. Read more

Umatilla County Public Health continues to report deaths at Hermiston nursing homes after an outbreak at Regency Hermiston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Read more

HERMISTON — Umatilla County had another triple-digit weekend for confirmed COVID-19 cases, but none of those cases was from door-to-door testing conducted by Oregon State University researchers in Hermiston during the same weekend. Read more

HERMISTON — The Oregon Health Authority has reported an outbreak of COVID-19 at Regency Hermiston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Read more

SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown announced at a Wednesday, July 22, press conference that there will be additional statewide restrictions under Phase 2 of reopening plans as soon as Friday, July 24. Read more

Four months since thousands of Umatilla County residents filed for unemployment benefits as a result of COVID-19, some say they still haven’t received any money, while others just received months of unprocessed payments as of last week. Read more

Health experts from Oregon State University will be conducting door-to-door COVID-19 testing in Hermiston on Saturday, July 25, and Sunday, July 26. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — A 72-year-old man who lived at Regency Hermiston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center died Tuesday, July 14 after testing positive for COVID-19 on July 8, a press release from the Umatilla County Public Health Department stated.  Read more

HERMISTON — Hermiston’s Walmart Distribution Center and Marlette Homes joined the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly list of workplace COVID-19 outbreaks in its Wednesday, July 15, report. Read more

As Umatilla County’s COVID-19 numbers continue to grow by leaps and bounds compared to the rest of Oregon, I’m seeing a lot of arguing over how accurate the numbers are, and much less discussion about what we can do to protect people in our community. Read more

Face masks must be worn outdoors when social distancing is not possible and private gatherings must be limited to no more than 10 people, Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday. Read more

Umatilla County’s rising COVID-19 cases continue to touch more workplaces in the area, as the county passed the 1,000-case mark over the weekend of July 11-12. Read more

On July 8, the Good Shepherd Health Care System announced it was holding a free drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic on Monday, July 13 from 7-11 a.m. in the parking lot of the Columbia Professional Plaza, 1050 W Elm St. in Hermiston (enter on the Elm Street side). Read more

Online registration has officially opened, as of July 1, for the Hermiston School District. Read more

On July 1, Walmart announced it had met its goal of hiring more than 250,000 veterans nationwide by the end of 2020. Read more

While masks have been encouraged by public health experts at organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are now mandatory in Oregon. Read more

Umatilla County’s seventh COVID-19 death came just two days after its sixth, according to Umatilla County Public Health. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — As the gush of new COVID-19 cases continues, the state is identifying more Eastern Oregon businesses as workplace outbreaks. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Some Umatilla County churches have reexamined their church service protocols following a COVID outbreak at a Union County church. Read more

Umatilla County hit a record new number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 on Tuesday, June 30, according to Umatilla County Public Health. Read more


Young female doctor in medical mask on grey background Read more

The Oregon Health Authority reported 37 COVID-19 cases linked to Lamb Weston’s Hermiston facility on June 23 in its weekly reporting of worksite outbreaks. Read more

Hermiston and other Eastern Oregon restaurants, bars and hotels said they are happy to be back, with many reopening their dining room floors, hiring additional staff members and rehiring old ones too. Read more

PENDLETON — Outdoor recreation and sports, such as tennis and mini-golf, are considered lower risk activities for contracting COVID-19 than indoor activities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more

Umatilla County continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases, announcing 32 new confirmed cases and 21 presumptive cases on June 23, bringing the county’s total to 313 confirmed cases so far, with 171 recovered. Read more

Umatilla County’s cases of COVID-19 rose to 174 confirmed cases and 13 presumptive cases on Tuesday, June 16, up from 140 confirmed cases one week prior. Read more

The Class of 2020 left high school under unique circumstances with “socially distant” graduations this month, but for their younger peers, the effects of COVID-19 on their education continue. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Four new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Umatilla County on Tuesday, June 9, bringing the county's case total to 149, according to a press release.  Read more

HERMISTON — As the Oregon Health Authority starts releasing data on worksites with outbreaks of COVID-19, Medelez Trucking and Good Shepherd Health Care System both made the list. Read more

HERMISTON — Oregon Gov Kate Brown has directed the distribution of approximately 1 million KN95 masks and 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer for farmworkers and agricultural producers.
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For the first time in nearly two months, diners were able to sit down to eat at restaurants on Friday as Umatilla County entered phase one of Gov. Kate Brown’s reopening plan. Read more

When one group of Hermiston-area residents rallies on May 30 to protest restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, some essential workers those rules could help protect are planning to make their voices heard in counterprotest. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Life has been upended for humans in recent months, but animals are still finding their forever homes. Read more

A third Umatilla County resident has died of COVID-19, Umatilla County Public Health announced Monday. Read more

HERMISTON — Hermiston's biggest events of the year have been put on hold to protect people from COVID-19. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — While 28 other counties were approved to enter Phase 1 of reopening their economies starting Friday, Umatilla and Morrow counties' applications are "still under review," Gov. Kate Brown said during a press conference Thursday morning.  Read more

HERMISTON — Students’ last day of distance learning for the year will take place on May 29 for Hermiston School District. Read more

What’s for dinner? “It depends on what’s available at the local market” is going to be the answer for a while. Read more

Some of the city of Hermiston’s summer recreation programs will go on and some are already canceled, but opening the city’s aquatic center remains in question. Read more

PENDLETON — Umatilla County reported its second death of a confirmed COVID-19 patient on Sunday. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Thirty-five Umatilla County businesses have received Paycheck Protection Loans through Umpqua Bank so far. Read more

HERMISTON — As the first phase of reopening businesses in Oregon approaches on May 15, some Hermiston business owners want to see the government go much farther. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County is establishing a center to answer calls and coordinate COVID-19 investigations in its quest to begin reopening local businesses by May 15, Umatilla County Commissioner George Murdock said Tuesday. Read more

Gov. Kate Brown hopes that some rural areas with few or no COVID-19 cases could reopen for business and other activities on May 15. Read more

Umatilla County reported its first death of a confirmed COVID-19 patient Friday. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County announced another 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, passing Tuesday's report of eight new cases for the largest single-day increase since the county began tracking the virus on March 2.  Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — The Umatilla County Public Health Department unveiled its latest data on the county’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday, and the numbers don’t look good for the hopes of reopening local businesses by May 15. Read more

HEPPNER — Morrow County is still drafting a plan for reopening businesses and lifting restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic in hopes of submitting a proposal to the state at its next board of commissioners meeting on May 6. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Optimistic of its ability to meet the state’s public health requirements, Umatilla County submitted a plan Monday to begin lifting restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic and reopening businesses by May 15. Read more

Umatilla County’s confirmed COVID-19 cases rose by eight on Tuesday, for a total of 45 known cases in the county since the pandemic began. Read more

HERMISTON — As stimulus money helps prop up the economy, sole proprietors are getting left out of some types of help. Read more

When Dr. Bruce Goldberg encountered a difficult case as a family physician, he would gather a bunch of smart consultants in the room for their advice on how to help the patient. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — Three Umatilla County residents are now hospitalized with COVID-19 as Umatilla County Public Health announced four new cases of coronavirus on Monday. Read more

UMATILLA COUNTY — At a time when many family-owned small businesses have temporarily closed, one niche business in Stanfield has found itself busier than ever. Read more

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