A local update on COVID-19
We are in week four of Oregon’s stay at home order and five weeks out since Oregon declared a state of emergency. Research suggests that Oregonians are practicing effective social distancing, reducing transmission of COVID-19 from 50% to 70%. The Institute for Health Metric Evaluation in Seattle has been making predictions for when we will see a peak in the outbreak, it has quickly changed, but is currently set for about a couple weeks out in Oregon.
University of Oregon
The University of Oregon has moved all education to online for spring term, with some classes cancelled. University deans have taken 10% pay cuts for six months, this in addition to President Schill taking a temporary 12% pay cut.
In response to pressure from students and negotiations with the ASUO, the university is cutting student fees by 34%. Tuition will still be full cost and it is set to rise next school year. Even with social distancing practices in place, the Board of Trustees held a meeting, with no attendees, and voted to approve “guaranteed tuition” and a new video board at Autzen Stadium.
Recently the university announced it is putting 282 employees on unpaid leave.
Oregon has seen 269,900 unemployment claims in the last few weeks. Those still working, and considered “essential workers”, have been fighting for their safety:
UFCW 555 workers gained $2 hazard pay increase at many locations
City of Eugene workers represented by AFSCME 1724 are seeking a Letter of Agreement signed by the city to protect their safety
SEIU 503 is still seeking personal protective equipment (PPE) for its workers
In the midst of this health crisis and economic crisis, we’ve seen community come together through mutual aid. Existing mutual aid networks like Burrito Brigade, Food Not Bombs, and CORE continue to provide food to those in need with changes to keep safety of those delivering and receiving food. The Neighborhood Anarchist Collective moved their Solidarity Share Fair mobile last month.
We’ve also seen new groups like Lane County Mutual Aid, which is delivering groceries and supplies, sprout up during this time. You can sign up to volunteer or make a request through their website. Lane County Mutual Aid is also encouraging and providing resources for creating a network localized within your neighborhood.
Make a donation
Solidarity Action Network: Lane County COVID19 April hardship fund
COVID-19 emergency supplies for the unhoused
Centro Latino Americano’s fundraiser
Oregon Workers Relief Fund by Causa
Week ahead — online
Tuesday, 5-6 PM — Weekly WildChat: writing and publishing letters to the editor
Thursday, 3-5 PM — Know your rights when interacting with law enforcement
Saturday, 2-4 PM — Witch’s child radical reading digital
A contractor on the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field renovation walked off the job for safety reasons. he lost his contract.
Burrito Brigade’s pantries bring ready-to-eat food to neighborhoods
Advocates ask Lane County Board of County Commissioners to offer help to renters
FAQ: what you can and can’t do under Oregon’s new ‘stay home’ order
Guest view: lessons from the pandemic