The U.S. has officially reached 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. In Oregon, our first confirmed case was on February 28. Our daily lives are radically different than they were a short time ago. This virus has impacted all of us, with some of us feeling the harshest health, social and economic impacts more than others. OHA’s COVID-19 website and our new Safe + Strong website have health information as well as other resources to support individuals at this time. Thank you for continuing to let us know what you need to stay safe, healthy, and strong.
Medical professionals are needed to volunteer for SERV-OR
The health care workforce is a critical resource in the response to COVID-19. We are asking health professionals to volunteer in the fight against the virus. If you have ever thought about volunteering your time, energy and medical skills to a worthwhile and potentially life-saving cause, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), fellow health professionals and systems, and all Oregonians could use your help.
To help, you can register with OHA’s State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon (SERV-OR). Volunteers can join the State Managed Volunteer Pool (SMVP) for statewide deployments or their local Medical Reserve Corps unit (MRC) for local response. Duties of volunteers can vary widely depending on the need.
Register at https://SERV-OR.org and learn more by downloading SERV-OR’s frequently asked questions.
Will seeking treatment for COVID-19 count against someone under the federal “public charge” rule?
If you or someone you know is applying to become a Legal Permanent Resident, is undocumented, or is covered by emergency-only coverage (CAWEM), you may wonder if seeking medical treatment for COVID-19 will be counted against you under the federal “public charge” rule.
Receiving emergency Medicaid, such as CAWEM, cannot be counted under the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) public charge rule. Additionally, on March 13, 2020 USCIS issued an alert on its website stating that the agency will not consider testing, treatment, or preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge analysis.
You should seek the medical treatment or preventive services you need to protect your health and the health of others. This includes if your care is paid for in whole or in part by Medicaid, also known as the Oregon Health Plan.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. Individuals who are concerned about whether and how receipt of public benefits might affect their immigration status should ask for help from an immigration attorney.