COVID-19 Resource Page
This page includes a collection of resources on the Coronavirus that was curated by the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce to help our community and members stay informed. Just as AWACC strives to be your number one business resource in the community, we also strive to be a top resource for the current circumstance surrounding COVID-19 where workplace safety and economic vitality are high priorities
Click for a list with the status of our area restaurants offering dine-in, take out or delivery as a result of the industry guidelines for food and beverage businesses. (This list is updated regularly.)
This list gives a brief overview of which attractions are open and what you may expect when visiting currently. (This list is updated as we become aware of changes.)
Additional visitor information can be found at travelastoria.com
Clatsop County was approved for Phase 2 which is in effect on Saturday, June 6. Phase 2 is expected to stay in place through the summer.
Update June 30: Masks Required Oregon Governor announced on June 29 that face coverings are required when in indoor public spaces, beginning this Wednesday, July 1. The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces in all of Oregon. Read more details here.
What does Phase 2 mean for our county?
The governor’s office issued new guidance for Phase 2 counties in a press release on Wednesday, June 3. Assuming businesses and facilities can maintain physical distancing standards and other requirements mentioned above, counties can allow the following (click the links for formal guidance):
· Gathering limits will be raised to 50 people indoors, and 100 people outdoors.
· Indoor and outdoor venues, including theaters and churches, with 6 feet of physical distancing and other measures in place, can reach a COVID-19 occupancy limit of up to 250.
· Offices can begin reopening and employees can return to workplaces with physical distancing and other measures in place. See below for additional guidance about “limited return to work.”
· Increased travel will be allowed throughout Oregon, though staying local is still recommended to prevent overloading county health systems.
· Restaurants and bars will have curfews extended to midnight.
· Pools and sports courts will be allowed to reopen under new guidance.
· Indoor and outdoor activities such as bowling, batting cages, and mini golf, will be allowed to reopen under new guidance.
· Recreational sports can resume in a limited form, under strict physical distancing guidance.
Gov. Brown also issued new statewide guidance for counties still in Phase 1: Zoos, gardens, and museums can reopen in a limited fashion, and professional and collegiate sports teams can return to training in their facilities with physical distancing and health and safety measures in place.
The governor’s office provided this advice for “limited return to work” in Phase 2: “Workplaces may begin a limited return to office work, although remote working remains recommended to the extent practicable. Workplaces that have employees returning to work must designate, or continue to designate, an employee or officer to establish, implement and enforce physical distancing policies consistent with any applicable OHA guidance. Such policies must address how the business or nonprofit will maintain physical distancing protocols for business-critical officers.”
We don’t yet know what guidance will look like under Phase 3, however, Gov. Brown has stated that counties likely will not be able to enter until a vaccine or treatment is developed. Phase 3 includes very large gatherings, like concerts, festivals and sporting events.
Updates to sector-specific guidance will be made available at www.coronavirus.oregon.gov.
Astoria and Warrenton Resources
Clatsop County Chambers Collaborate on Reopening Handbook
The Seaside, Cannon Beach and Astoria-Warrenton Area Chambers of Commerce have been working with local business leaders through the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to be a part of the reopening process. Through a collaborative effort (led by Seaside Chamber) we prepared this toolkit for distribution to our members. This framework is a living document and will be continually updated as more guidance is received from the State of Oregon and our local governments around industry specific reopening guidelines, and rule changes that occur as we move through the Governor’s three phased reopening strategy.
Chamber Statement (March 19, 2020)
Community Resources - Local relief grants are being offered by several organizations and others are fundraising to set up programs for the community. Click to view this page collecting that information. Contact the organizations for more details and current status.
Northwest Regional Child Care Resource and Referral - Dial 211 for assistance finding emergency child care or visit their COVID-19 page with FAQ and tools for providers and families.
Local Chambers are distributing KN-95 non-medical masks to businesses in Astoria and Warrenton for employee use. These items came from the State of Oregon with coordination from the Clatsop County Emergency Manager. In an effort to provide these masks free of charge, it is necessary to complete the survey to request the supplies each week. Distribution will begin Wednesday (6/24) and continue while supplies last.
Clatsop County has established a COVID-19 information phone line to answer the public’s questions about the coronavirus outbreak and related issues. The phone line will be staffed by live personnel Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The number is (503) 325-8500. (Staff cannot answer medical questions.)
CARES Act Relief Funds through the SBA
Our nation's small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.
In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak:
- · Paycheck Protection Program
- · EIDL Loan Advance
- · SBA Express Bridge Loans
- · SBA Debt Relief
Click here to learn more directly from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Here’s a guide and checklist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help your small business through the Coronavirus Emergency Loans available and whether you are eligible and how much you can borrow.
Independent Contractor’s Guide to CARES Act Relief - A guide provided by the US Chamber.
Business Resources (State/Federal)
Small Business Resource Navigator - Combined resource with support from several state agencies including the Oregon Employment Department, the Oregon Secretary of State, and the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. The Navigator includes sections for employers and employees with comprehensive information on key programs for small businesses and is available at oregon4biz.com. As the state's economic development agency, Business Oregon post information on resources, best practices...anything that may help deal with the situation at hand. This agency provides financial resources and planning support primarily to businesses with fewer than 100 employees. They can also be reached by calling 844-469-5512 or call firstname.lastname@example.org
This Supply Connector resource is Business Oregon’s collaborative project to connect businesses and communities with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturers and suppliers to fight the spread of COVID-19 and keep employees safe. This tool provides a searchable database of businesses we have identified that can help provide PPE. Can your business help provide finished goods, materials, manufacturing capability, and support services that are needed to combat COVID-19? Or do you need assistance finding and securing critical equipment?
Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) created checklists that provide safety strategies and protocols for restaurants and lodging properties. The suggestions could be helpful to any business operating under similar safety guidelines.
Travel Oregon offers a COVID-19 resource page especially aimed at businesses that provide visitor services like retail, recreation, restaurants, and lodging. They also manage a public-facing page with travel alerts to provide guests with current information to help them make their travel decisions.
Oregon Employment Department - The health and safety of workplaces is of utmost importance to the Oregon Employment Department. Their page provides a summary of general guidance to employers, workers, and job seekers who may be impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus. The C.A.R.E.S. Act package extends Unemployment Insurance to provide more robust benefits to more people.
Work Share Oregon - Employers are encouraged to check into Work Share Oregon, which can support businesses and workers to avoid mass layoffs and lost wages and benefits in times like these. Work Share can be reached at 800 436-6191 or email oed email@example.com
Northwest Oregon Works --- Rapid Response is a task force specifically designed to promote economic recovery and vitality by planning with businesses to avert or respond to layoffs and dislocations to prevent or minimize the impact on workers, businesses and communities. Our team will work directly with businesses and their employees to assist in layoff aversion strategies, help affected worker apply for unemployment benefits, find access to health care resources and training so they can get back to work rapidly.
The IRS posted this Q&A about federal filing and payment extension to July 15. Read the release about paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and mid-size businesses. The IRS is also posting related updates on a special coronavirus page.
Resilience in a Box - If your business needs help putting a plan in place, check out the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s toolkit created in partnership with the UPS foundation.
The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was created to help restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Through this Fund, grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have demonstrated being
financially impacted by COVID-19, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Click to learn how to apply for or contribute to the fund.
COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide USDA and its Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs can support recovery efforts for rural residents, businesses and communities through:
• technical, training, and management assistance;
• financial assistance; and
• state and local assistance.
This resource matrix organizes funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America. Opportunities are categorized by customer and assistance type. For more information on the immediate actions USDA is taking to respond to COVID-19, visit usda.gov/coronavirus.
Oregon OSHA Technical Assistance Portal - Oregon OSHA is starting to do workplace inspections to ensure companies are complying with the Governor’s executive order regarding business closures and social distancing and may be issuing fines. The Oregon State Chamber of Commerce is lobbying for the state to provide guidance but not fines. Meanwhile, Oregon OSHA has a technical assistance portal where companies can get guidance on this and other OSHA questions. OSHA promises that there is a firewall between the technical assistance group and enforcement so there should be no fear of self-incrimination.
Clatsop County Public Health Department- Clatsop County Health is hosting weekly conference calls with multiple stakeholders to ensure a coordinated effort to monitor for and respond to any potential cases of the coronavirus illness, known as COVID-19. County management is also communicating regularly with local city governments and other agencies. Their page provides the latest developments in our local area. The Health Department is offering drive-through testing for COVID-19.
Oregon Health Authority - The Oregon Health Authority is responding to an outbreak of respiratory illness, called COVID-19, caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. Health officials urge social distancing, good hand hygiene, covering coughs and staying home if you are sick. This page includes an overview of the situation in Oregon including Executive Orders and Guidance.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC is one of the major operating components of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This page includes FAQs about the virus, its symptoms and how to take precautions. Resources are split into categories including travel, business, school and other organizations.
Cleaning Procedures - Community members can practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants. Visit this CDC page for tips and suggestions for cleaning your home or business.
AWACC Operations and Programs
The Visitor Center reopened to the public in early June. Our current hours of operation are Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Our staff is also available to answer phone (503-325-6311) and email inquiries during our current business hours We have a small rack of brochures available outside to help visitors stopping by in person outside of these hours.
Our in-person meetings and networking events are canceled for the foreseeable future including Business After Hours and Chamber Breakfast. We are looking into ways to connect with you through virtual networking and other opportunities. Stay tuned!
Our event planning team has made the decision to only offer the Great Columbia Crossing 10K in a virtual format this year. We will not be hosting the physical event on Sunday, October 11, 2020. Run or walk the Great Columbia Crossing on your own this fall – virtually. Compete in the 10K, or try our new 5K option. We will mail your race packet so you can run your favorite course in your hometown or neighborhood, anytime between October 11-17.
The Chamber's Lower Columbia Tourism Committee has adapted our tourism messaging to be proactive about COVID-19 impacts on visitation to our area. Read our current message about safe travel on travelastoria.com
Request to our members - do you have info to share, need assistance from us?