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Multnomah County Board of Commissioners statement on George Floyd, Portland protests


The following statement was issued by the Multnomah County Board on Saturday, May 30, 2020:
"We stand with the family of George Floyd and with all those who are grieving and seek justice and healing. Law enforcement and our entire public safety system must be accountable for actions that continue to target and harm Black people. We decry violence and destruction that would divert attention from their suffering and call for action. As a Board, we lead explicitly with race because racial inequities persist in every system across the country, without exception. We are committed to working with the community to assure the health and safety of Black people and other communities of color, and to building a community centered on equity and justice."

Multnomah County Library announces plans to restore limited service beginning June 8

Multnomah County Director of Libraries Vailey Oehlke announced on Monday, June 1 that Multnomah County Library will begin no-contact “sidewalk service” at four locations and a sharpened focus on service to help the community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Continuing updates to library service and answers to common questions will be posted at

“We are grateful and excited to begin the process of resuming some physical library services. Having libraries closed due to COVID-19 has been wrenching for our community and it requires that we fundamentally rethink the work we do, guided by a set of priorities that sharpens our focus on community recovery,” said Director of Libraries Vailey Oehlke. “The health and safety of library patrons and staff is priority above all.” [Read more]

Multnomah County to submit reopening proposal June 5

Multnomah County will submit its application to enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 5, with the goal to reopen June 12. In order to make sure the County is prepared for the challenges that lie ahead, officials are working to make sure the right public health strategies are in place prior to reopening.

“From the first COVID-19 case in Oregon, I wanted to keep as many people alive as possible,” said Chair Kafoury at a May 27 virtual press conference. “And together, we’ve done that. I wish, more than anything that we could declare victory and move on. But without a vaccine, we can’t.”

Kafoury cautioned that without taking the time to get reopening right, without making sure those most at risk are most protected, the entire community risks falling victim to a future wave of COVID-19. [Read more] 

County’s support for pregnant, new moms is still here — and more important than ever


LaRisha Baker, director of Maternal Child Family Health programs at Multnomah County, working from her home office during COVID-19

For nine years — until COVID-19 swept in — Nurse VaSheeta Charles has been visiting pregnant and new moms and babies in their homes.

She checks their health and mental development. She talks with the moms about reading and early learning. And she connects families with social and health services, while advocating for them within the wider medical profession.

As part of a team from Multnomah County’s Healthy Birth Initiative, Charles fights for families within a larger healthcare system that affords African American and Black women lower quality healthcare, driving up their rates of cesarean sections and dropping their rates of breastfeeding. [Read more]

‘Help the people we love by checking in’: County and partners plan for hot weather during COVID-19


Under normal circumstances, the Hollywood Senior Center serves as a refuge for older adults and others who need to escape the life-threatening dangers of hot weather. But with the COVID-19 pandemic preventing people from gathering, staff are finding new ways to support the community.

“Our approach this summer is different,” said Amber Kern-Johnson, the Hollywood Senior Center executive director. “We are really relying heavily on resource sharing and telephone communication.”

The summer heat hasn’t come yet, but Kern-Johnson said she knows it will — and soon. The center isn’t wasting any time preparing to support its 2,500 members. That includes contacting members to check on them, connecting them with education and resources, and offering a limited number of fans to participants in need. [Read more]

Multnomah County's vote-by-mail primary election proves steady, secure and familiar for voters


During an unprecedented and uncertain time, Oregon’s vote-by-mail election was as steady, secure and familiar as ever for the hundreds of thousands of registered voters who cast ballots in time for the May 19 Primary Election.

For the first time in Oregon’s 20-year vote-by-mail history, the election was conducted in the midst of a pandemic. But while COVID-19 brought distinct differences this year, voters made use of the same options for their ballots that they’ve always had: mailing it in or dropping it off, albeit while maintaining physical distance from others. [Read more]

Board receives briefing on COVID’s economic impacts and relief measures

Multnomah County has relied on numerous partners to ensure a comprehensive response that meets the emerging economic needs of businesses and individuals in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. During a briefing to the Board of County Commissioners on May 11, representatives from several of these partners provided snapshots of how they are supporting business owners and residents through this unprecedented economic downturn.

According to County Chair Deborah Kafoury, while Multnomah County has stepped up for the community during these unprecedented times — adopting an eviction moratorium, adjusting the way they deliver their services, committing to maintaining the social safety net in next year’s proposed budget — local partners have been crucial to understanding and helping people navigate sudden financial hardships and preparing the region for its eventual economic recovery. [Read more]

Visit, bookmark our County COVID-19 page

Please be sure to visit and bookmark our COVID-19 page for information on:

  • Reopening Multnomah County
  • Staying healthy
  • Learning what to do when you’re sick
  • Contact tracing 
  • COVID-19 testing 
  • and more
Multnomah County
501 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, Oregon 97214

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