Published: April 20, 2020

SEIU 503 is working quickly to make sure that care providers voices are not ignored as employers, government agencies and policy makers roll out COVID-19 plans. It’s times like these that we’re thankful we have a strong union that can respond and make sure our voices are heard.

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Letter of Agreement

We have signed a letter of agreement with the state – which is like a short-term contract – to ensure the safety and security of adult foster home providers during the COVID-19 crisis. Read it here


Masks

The CDC is now recommending that everyone, especially essential workers like care providers, wear masks for protection in places where social distancing protocols are difficult to maintain. While N95 masks offer better protection from airborne virus particles (blocking 95% of particles), the global shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves is leading many communities to direct scarce supplies to medical personnel. While only N95 masks are certified to protect you from 95% of air particles when worn correctly, many people are creating home-made masks that offer some protection. If you are unable to find an N95 mask, the CDC website has new tutorials for creating your own homemade cloth masks. 

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID19, is it especially important that you wear a mask to minimize the risk of infecting those around you.


How do I get the personal protective equipment I need?

AFH APD & DD Providers should call their Local Emergency Managers. Click this website for County Emergency Manager contact information.
Click here for the DHS DD Transmittal pertaining to PPE
Click here for the APD Memo pertaining to PPE.
We will add specific details for AMH providers once we receive it. The state is directing AMH providers to contact their County Public Health Departments. Please click here to identify contact information in your county: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/ProviderPartnerResources/LocalHealthDepartmentResources/Pages/lhd.aspx

Staffing Issues


Where do I go for more information? 


Food Resources

  • Pandemic Webinar Series, Oregon’s Food Resources: COVID-19. This webinar series will answer your questions about food resources during this COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Join us from 12 P.M. – 12:30 P.M. on each of these days:
      • Monday, April 13th – The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Oregon Food Bank Food Finder.
      • Wednesday, April 15th – OSU Extension Services and Food Hero recipes!
      •  Monday, April 20th – Farmers Markets SNAP Match and other resource.
    • Link to Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/869177337; Meeting ID: 869 177 337
    • These webinars will also be live streamed on the OHSU UCEDD Community Partners Council (CPC) Facebook page. All webinars will be real-time captioned and recorded versions will be available on the OHSU UCEDD website.

Help Lines

  • Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline is a free service – Contact the Helpline day or night to speak confidentially with master’s-level care consultants for decision-making support, crisis assistance and education on issues families face every day. 
  • Learn about the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. 
  • Find out about local programs and services. 
  • Get general information about legal, financial and care decisions, as well as treatment options for managing symptoms. Receive help in your preferred language through a bilingual staff or translation service, which accommodates more than 200 languages. 

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ACTIONS & Advocacy

LIFTING AFH WORKERS Adult Foster Home Providers are essential for our communities to function and elevating the experience of care providers during this crisis is necessary to ensure that elected officials and government agencies understand and feel the human impact. 

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Informative Articles

Oregon healthcare workers seek limited legal immunity in coronavirus fight: https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2020/04/oregon-healthcare-workers-seek-limited-legal-immunity-in-coronavirus-fight.html

Schumer proposes $25,000 ‘heroes’ pay for frontline workers | ktvb.com https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/schumer-proposes-25000-heroes-pay-for-frontline-workers/507-477230fc-0864-4b9f-937b-038eff6e3412 


Additional COVID-19 resources


Unemployment Benefits

Governor Brown has issued an executive order loosening the rules around unemployment to help people who are quarantined or temporarily out of work due to COVID-19 – this includes people who need to stay at home to care for a child. Claims can be filed at Oregon.gov/employ or by calling 1-877-FILE-4-UI (1-877-345-3484).

  • Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) through the new PUA program, unemployment benefits will now be available to FCC providers and all who are self-employed. The CARES Act also extended the duration of UI and PUA benefits nationally from 26 to 39 week, an increase of 13 weeks, through the end of 2020. The period of coverage will be retroactive to January 27, 2020. The benefit amount will be (different in each state, though generally between $100-250) Additionally, everyone receiving benefits through UI and PUA will automatically receive $600 per week on top of the base benefit amount (referred to in the CARES Act as Pandemic Unemployment Compensation) through July 31, 2020. This $600 per week will not be considered income for the purposes of Medicaid or CHIP eligibility.

HOW TO APPLY: All UI and PUA claims will be processed by state unemployment agencies, so contact your state agency online or by phone to file a claim (see links below). Unfortunately, the federal government is still in the process of creating the PUA application and guidance for states on how to administer the program. This means that some states are directing self-employed individuals to use the standard UI application, while others are encouraging them to wait until the new PUA application is received. For details in your state, contact your state UI department. Lastly, the weekly $600 PUC benefit is expected to come in a separate check from the base UI/PUA benefit, and advocates are encouraging states to ensure they are mailed the same week as the base benefit check.


Community Resource Guide

With information on state and county resources, food assistance, low cost healthcare, childcare and more, our resource guide is an attempt to pull together all the resources in the state that are available to people impacted by COVID-19.


Fact Sheets & Information

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): There is a critical shortage of PPE in Oregon and around the county. Governor Kate Brown directed all Oregon hospitals, outpatient clinics, and health care providers, including veterinarians and dentists, to cease all non-emergency procedures, in order to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), such as surgical masks, gowns, and gloves, for health care workers treating COVID-19 patients. We are doing everything we can to fight for access. Please contact your organizer if you don’t have access to PPE. Every story helps us advocate.
  • 211 is the go-to public phone number to get information about Novel Coronavirus and referrals to programs for food, shelter, health care and more. CALL 211 or 1-866-698-6155; TEXT your zip code to 898211 (TXT211); EMAIL help@211info.org.
  • Visit the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 website for weekly public updates about how many people are being monitored in Oregon, as well as sharing updates about how Oregon families can help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Governor Kate Brown is posting updated news and resources, including the latest information on school and business closures, on her official website.
  • Ten Steps for preventing Coronavirus: in English and Spanish
  • Regarding the Coronavirus and xenophobia — read this article in TIME magazine, and this one from the Los Angeles Times.