Perk Beverage Company in Vale remained open this week for to-go and drive-through orders during the statewide coronavirus restaurant closure. Businesses throughout the area face tough decisions to survive the restrictions. (The Enterprise/Joe Siess)

This digest provides all-in-one-place access to reporting on the novel coronavirus outbreak. A statewide media collaboration is sharing coverage among Oregon’s newspapers and broadcast outlets. The Malheur Enterprise is part of that collaboration.

Question? If you have questions about the outbreak, the disease or other related matters, email les@malheurenterprise.com

NOTE: The Enterprise is providing free access to its content related to the coronavirus as a community service. Subscriptions at $5 a month help the Enterprise keep this up.

Local law enforcement officials say rumors about border closure are unfounded, waste of time  

The Ontario and Nyssa Police Departments as well as the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police have made official statements about the rumors, assuring the public that they are in fact false and that the border remains open. 

Malheur County decides to limit spending, expand paid leave for employees

The Malheur County Court approved a number of measures Wednesday in response to the coronavirus crisis. A need for supplies for first responders will eat into the already-diminished contingency fund.

Here’s how you can get help from DHS during the COVID-19 crisis

DHS is encouraging clients to fill out forms online. Here’s a Q&A to walk you through it. While most of the agency’s employees are working from home, the building remains open.

OTHER REPORTING FROM AROUND THE REGION:

SALEM REPORTER: Marion County confirms 55 people infected with COVID-19, Oregon's second-highest count

Salem-area residents confirmed to have COVID-19 include a Cherriots bus driver and classroom aide at a local elementary school. County and state health officials have been slow to explain the high number of local patients.

SALEM REPORTER: Two Cherriots drivers test positive for COVID-19

Salem’s transit agency confirmed two of its drivers have been confirmed infected with the disease but otherwise would provide no information to the public about which routes were involved.

SALEM REPORTER: With tears and pounds of sliced meat and cheese, Cozzie’s NY Deli closes its doors in response to the coronavirus outbreak

Opening Cozzie’s NY Deli was both a dream and a leap of faith for a Salem couple. Despite its glowing reviews and awards, the eatery is the latest to close as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak. Its owners hope the closure is temporary.

THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE: Oregon jobless claims quintupled last week as coronavirus shutdown took hold

New unemployment claims in Oregon shot up fivefold last week in the days after Gov. Kate Brown issued an order shutting bars and restaurants to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The volume of layoffs completely overwhelmed the state’s system for phoning in new claims. And last week’s numbers only hint at the economic devastation to come, with more businesses closing following the governor’s “stay home” directive Monday.

THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE: Oregon faces ‘severe recession,’ but its length depends on coronavirus

Legislators meeting to plot the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic have made one thing abundantly clear. They are flying blind, with little visibility on what’s ahead or how much money they have to spend to respond to the outbreak and provide a bigger safety net for Oregonians.

OPB: Coronavirus Could Kill Many Oregon Ballot Initiative Campaigns

This is the season when Oregon initiative campaigns normally crank up their canvassing drives to gain enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. But it’s hard to gather signatures when most people are staying at home and don’t want to get close to canvassers carrying a clipboard.

OPB: Coronavirus Restaurant Closures Upend Oregon Seafood Industry

Seafood processors across the Northwest say they’re shifting gears quickly to make up for the loss in restaurant sales. They’re putting more seafood in the freezer and selling more to grocery stores. Northwest seafood processor Andrew Bornstein said grocery stores are buying more seafood now because so many people are stocking up in response to statewide orders to stay home. But that doesn’t mean his business isn’t taking a big hit.

BEND BULLETIN: Pandemic forces exchange students in Central Oregon to go home

Virginia Rota, an 18-year-old from the small north Italian city of Bassano del Grappa, arrived in Prineville last summer as a foreign exchange student. She was initially worried about Prineville being a closed-minded small town, but quickly found friends while studying at Crook County High School. “I met a lot of people that will always be a part of my life,” Rota said. “It’s not about the city or how big it is, it’s about the connections you made with the people, in my opinion.”

BEND BULLETIN: Bulletin parent company announces layoffs in wake of virus fallout

EO Media Group, the parent company of The Bulletin and 12 other newspapers across Oregon and Washington, announced Wednesday that it is reducing its workforce by 47 employees, according to a press release. Fourteen jobs were cut at The Bulletin, and the others are spread across the rest of the newspaper chain.

DAILY ASTORIAN: Columbia Memorial Hospital will temporarily reduce staff after virus cutbacks

Columbia Memorial Hospital, directed to scale back care to concentrate on the coronavirus, on Tuesday announced a temporary layoff of 90 employees. Gov. Kate Brown ordered hospitals and other health care providers in Oregon last week to stop nonemergency procedures to preserve surgical masks and other medical supplies for use in responding to the virus. Hospital administrators also said they reduced nonessential and elective services to keep patients and caregivers safe.

ROSEBURG NEWS-REVIEW: CDC says Douglas County one of the four worst counties to be in during COVID-19 crisis

Douglas County is one of the four counties in the United States at the highest risk of having more COVID-19 patients than its hospital can handle, according to a new report from Tech Republic. Tech Republic is an online technology-focused magazine owned by CBS. Its report is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maps showing how quickly counties across the country could run out of hospital space during the pandemic.

These articles originally published by one of more than a dozen news organizations throughout the state sharing their coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak to help inform Oregonians about this evolving heath issue. Malheur Enterprise is part of this extraordinary collaboration.