COVID-19 outbreak at employment department slows operations

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Officials say an 11-person COVID-19 outbreak at the Wilsonville office of the Oregon Employment Department will likely cause further delays in the handling of claims. David Gerstenfeld, acting director of the department, says health authorities have not advised the office to close. But Gov. Kate Brown’s COVID-19 safety orders require employers to allow work-from-home options when possible. Gerstenfeld says he expects hundreds of Wilsonville employees to work from home in the future, but some can’t because they lack adequate internet service. The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,244 new confirmed cases Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 78,160. The death toll is 953.