Oregon reports 2 new COVID-19 deaths, 84 new COVID-19 cases; OHA gains flexibility in its Medicaid program to better serve low-income Oregonians during COVID-19 pandemic

PORTLAND, Ore.— COVID-19 has claimed 2 more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 16 to 18, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 84 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 690, as of 8 a.m. today. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (3), Clackamas (10), Douglas (1), Hood River (1), Jackson (1), Klamath (1), Lane (4), Lincoln (1), Linn (1), Malheur (1), Marion (18), Multnomah (16), Polk (3), Umatilla (1), Wallowa (1), Wasco (2), Washington (18), and Yamhill (2). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s seventeenth COVID-19 death is a 90-year-old man in Yamhill County, who tested positive on March 25, 2020, and died on March 29, 2020 at Providence Newberg Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.


Oregon’s eighteenth COVID-19 death is an 88-year-old woman in Benton County, who tested positive on March 26, 2020, and died March 30, 2020 at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis. She had underlying medical conditions.

Update: The COVID-19 case data OHA publishes once a day on its website and shares once a day with the media are provisional and subject to change. A case reported yesterday as a Deschutes County case has been updated today to Washington County.

Oregon Health Authority gains flexibility in its Medicaid program to better serve low-income Oregonians during COVID-19 pandemic

The Oregon Health Authority has received flexibility from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove barriers for Oregonians to qualify for, enroll in, and stay enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). Oregon has also received flexibility for providers to provide care to members as the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly one in four Oregonians currently receives health coverage through OHP.

“The COVID-19 pandemic requires us to act quickly to support the needs of our communities,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority. “This added flexibility in our Medicaid program is going to allow us to more quickly get people access to health care and expand our health system to meet the challenges of this public health emergency.”

The key areas of flexibility that Oregon will gain from this waiver include:

  • All members who are currently enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan will not lose coverage during this crisis. This includes coverage that is only state-funded (i.e. Cover all Kids).
  • Individuals can sign up for OHP without having to verify their income (submit a pay stub) with their application. They will be able to self-attest, which will help Oregonians get access to OHP coverage more quickly.
  • Federal stimulus payments and increased unemployment payments will not affect OHP eligibility. They will not be counted during the application process or when members report a change in their household.
  • Oregon will have additional flexibility to add to its healthcare workforce, provide treatment in temporary sites, and for paying providers during this public health emergency.

Additional information and guidance related to COVID-19 for coordinated care organizations (CCOs) and providers serving OHP members is available on the OHA website. A fact sheet for OHP members about their coverage and COVID-19 can be downloaded on the OHP website in English and in Spanish.