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June 2, 2021

Peer support helps people experiencing homelessness overcome vaccine hesitancy

By Julie Showers

During Blanchet House of Hospitality’s lunch and dinner hours, you will find Jennifer Coon on the sidewalk talking with guests in line for food. A petite woman in a yellow safety vest, Coon offers assistance to people struggling to survive in downtown Portland. And she is busy. Within one hour, she brought a plate of food to a man in a wheelchair, found clothes for the naked, band-aids for wounds, lent a listening ear to the lonely, and distributed COVID-19 vaccine information.

Because she has built trust, she was able to sign up and transport more than 25 shelter residents to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations at the Oregon Convention Center (OCC). In addition, she offers information and directions to other vaccination clinics to a countless number of people experiencing homelessness. In between meal services Coon supports Blanchet House’s more than 30 transitional housing residents.

“One guy was so scared to get the vaccine. I was with him the whole way,” Coon recalls. “I drove him in my little car and he’s a big guy! He was so grateful that he had tears in his eyes. He says we’re bonded forever.”

Coon found that getting people to agree to the second dose of the vaccine at a later date was a bit of a hurdle. Many were reluctant.

“I give them a lot of information, let them make their decision, and help coordinate,” she says.“That’s a good starting point, a good foundation to get them hopefully in the right direction. I’m happy to be a part of it and I’m proud to be part of it.”

Read the full story on the Oregon Vaccine News blog.

If you’re interested in volunteering at Blanchet House, you can find opportunities at this link:


Woman wearing a face mask sits at table looking at laptop with a man sitting next to her wearing facemask and baseball cap.

Jenn helps Richard, a resident at Blanchet House, sign up for vaccinatione at Oregon Convention Center

Evacuation tips: Be prepared so you are ready to go

With wildfires in parts of the state, it’s important for everyone to be prepared so you are ready to go. We also want to acknowledge the importance of taking care of your mental health in stressful situations like these. This is especially important if you’re still recovering from last year’s wildfires. Taking care of your mental health could look like making a self-care plan, getting support in your community or talking with people who care about you. For more mental health resources, visit our Safe+Strong website.

If you must evacuate for any reason, be sure to bring:

  • An emergency food and water supply:
  • An emergency medicine supply:
  • Make a plan to keep medications that need refrigeration cold.
  • Emergency power sources for medical devices and flashlights: (don’t forget extra batteries).
  • Safety and personal items, including a face covering and hand sanitizer to protect against COVID. Face coverings do not protect against wildfire smoke.
  •  Important documents, including medical documents, wills, passports and personal identification:
  • Reduce smoke in your vehicle by closing your windows and vents and running your car’s air conditioner in recirculate mode to lower air intake from outside and to stay cool.

Check to help plan a safe route.

Checklist of what to take during an evacuation.

Did you lose a birth certificate or other vital document due to a wildfire? Have it replaced free of charge

Many Oregon families may have lost all vital documents due to the Oregon wildfires. Family members may also have died in the wildfires. Starting June 1, 2021, the Center for Health Statistics will provide up to three certified copies of Oregon vital records free of charge to individuals or families who have been impacted by the Oregon Wildfires.

Certified copies of vital records free of charge for Oregonians affected by the wildfires will be available through October 28, 2021.

More information is available at this link or you can call  971-673-1190.

Text from article on blue background with an image of a certificate.

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Oregon reports 356 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 2 new deaths

There are two new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,676, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority reported 356 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 201,996.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 14,457 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 9,428 doses were administered on June 1 and 5,029 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on June 1. Cumulative daily totals can take several days to finalize.

The seven-day running average is now 21,005 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered 2,221,235 first and second doses of Pfizer, 1,608,334 first and second doses of Moderna and 144,596 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, 1,863,888 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 2,247,597 people who have had at least one dose.

To date, 2,827,215 doses of Pfizer, 2,153,680 doses of Moderna and 294,400 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to sites across Oregon.

These data are preliminary and subject to change

OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data, and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 227, which is 11 fewer than yesterday. There are 65 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is two fewer than yesterday.

The total number of COVID-19 positive patient bed-days in the most recent seven days is 1,737, which is an 8.8% decrease from the previous seven days. The peak daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19 positive patients in the most recent seven days is 260.

The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

Cases and deaths

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (5), Benton (8), Clackamas (32), Columbia (2), Crook (5), Curry (4), Deschutes (13), Douglas (16), Grant (7), Harney (11), Hood River (2), Jackson (33), Jefferson (13), Josephine (7), Klamath (8), Lake (1), Lane (26), Lincoln (2), Linn (12), Malheur (8), Marion (40), Multnomah (32), Polk (10), Umatilla (26), Union (2), Wallowa (1), Wasco (1), Washington (25) and Yamhill (4).

Oregon’s 2,675th COVID-19 death is a 53-year-old woman from Jackson County who tested positive on May 4 and died on May 31 at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.

Oregon’s 2,676th COVID-19 death is a 54-year-old man from Douglas County who tested positive on May 17 and died on May 27 at his residence. He had underlying conditions.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations   

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine situation in Oregon, visit our webpage (English or Spanish), which has a breakdown of distribution and other information. 

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