WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced $25 million in federal grants are being allocated for emergency services critical to the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. “While Oregon continues its recovery from the pandemic, we cannot ignore the effects of COVID-19 on emergency personnel and their ability to provide aid and administer tests when needed,” said Merkley. “I am pleased that Oregon will receive federal funding to sustain critical protective measures against disasters, provide medical treatment to COVID–19 patients, and ensure our agencies are equipped to better serve Oregonians during ongoing emergencies.”
“The devastation from this public health crisis has landed hard on emergency workers throughout Oregon and they deserve every ounce of federal support to help them do their jobs and keep Oregonians safe,”Wyden said. “I’m glad our state will receive these federal funds to bolster its ability to respond to emergencies like natural disasters as well as the continued need for Oregonians to get lifesaving COVID-19 treatment.
The grants, administered by the U.S Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will be going to two state agencies that specialize in health services and disaster prevention. Oregon Office of Emergency Management will receive $14 million to improve agency operations and enhance the Public Assistance Program. Oregon Health Authority will receive $11 million for supplies, enhanced COVID testing, and pandemic awareness efforts. Both grants will fully cover the state’s costs for the projects.