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

COVID-19 REOPENING 

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 with major change in state guidance.)

* Wear a mask * Limit gatherings * Wash your hands * Stay home when sick * Maintain 6' distance *

Visitor information can be found at travelastoria.com 

County Risk Levels to be Evaluated Every TWO Weeks --- Activity Guidance Varies by Level

Update April 9: County Risk Level: MODERATE

Effective April 9 to 22, Clatsop County will be in the MODERATE Risk level.  

Click the links below for a guidance chart and more details about guidance during this phase.

County Risk Levels and Activity Guidance

Governor Brown announced updates to county risk levels under the state's new public health framework to reduce transmission of COVID-19. The framework uses four different risk levels for counties based on COVID-19 spread—Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Lower Risk—and assigns health and safety measures for each level. (click for guidance chart) 

You can learn more about the risk levels and activity guidance on the state's COVID page.

Astoria and Warrenton are located in Clatsop County. Risk levels will be updated every two weeks, with a one-week warning period to provide time to anticipate any change to guidance based on changing levels.

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Update December 3:  Governor Kate Brown today announced county risk levels under the state's new public health framework to reduce transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19. The framework uses four different risk levels for counties based on COVID-19 spread—Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Lower Risk—and assigns health and safety measures for each level. The Oregon Health Authority will examine and publish county data weekly. County risk levels will be reassigned every two weeks. The first week's data will provide a "warning week" to prepare counties for potential risk level changes. Updates to Warning Week data and county risk levels will be posted to coronavirus.oregon.gov .


Updates to sector-specific guidance will be made available at www.coronavirus.oregon.gov

Astoria and Warrenton Resources

** PPE Available for Area Businesses through Chambers

Local Chambers are distributing masks, gloves, wipes, sanitizer and more personal protective supplies for employee and customer use. These items came from the State of Oregon with coordination from the Clatsop County Emergency Manager and are available for member and non-member businesses alike.  You must complete the mandatory survey by noon each Monday to request the supplies each week. Pick up your masks that same Wednesday at the Chamber. 

** Clatsop Economic Development Resource / SBDC - Resource page 

Contact the Clatsop SBDC to be added to their email list or see their list of classes here.

** 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.

** Link to COVID-19 Information at City of Astoria, City of WarrentonClatsop County and State of Oregon websites.

** 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.)

** Clatsop County, Columbia Memorial Hospital, and Providence Seaside Hospital have formed a COVID Vaccine Task Force to coordinate vaccine delivery to county residents. The task force will provide the latest information to the public through a weekly update posted at this link. The Task Force has also set up a dedicated email account to handle citizen questions about the local COVID-19 vaccination effort. If you have questions about whether you are in a Phase 1a group or other vaccine-related requests, please email covid19vaccine@clatsopeoc.com.  UPDATE 1/21: As Clatsop County begins planning to move into the next phases of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the Vaccine Task Force is inviting citizens to help in the planning effort by filling out a survey.

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. 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 business.sos@oregon.gov     

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 workshare@oregon.gov

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.

Oregon Employment Laws - If a business has questions about employment laws in the state of Oregon they can call the Technical Assistance hotline @  971 673-0824 or email bolita@boli.state.or.us  

The IRS shared 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 PortalOregon 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. 

Healthcare Resources

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.

Columbia Memorial Hospital Safer Together - Medical facilities across the nation have seen a decrease in the use of clinics, urgent cares and emergency rooms since March for obvious reasons. But now it is time to get your health back on schedule, and it’s even more important to maintain healthy habits. At CMH, we want you to know that we are ready to keep you and your families safe. With your help, we can all be Safer Together.

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 excited to connect with you through virtual networking and other opportunities. Check our calendar for the next chamber event.

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  

On behalf of local business owners, on January 7, 2021, the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown requesting that the “Extreme” risk level be relaxed, so businesses can operate at more sustainable levels than currently allowed. The Chamber leadership and board of directors have joined other business and community leaders across the state appealing to Governor Brown and the Oregon Health Authority. The request is for the state to either modify risk level guidance for businesses that requires some industries to fully shut down, or to provide data that shows the outright bans on indoor activities is actually connected to preventing infections. 

Request to our members - do you have info to share, need assistance from us?