COVID News & Resources

Every individual, business, and community is experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency. In an effort to support our contractors and the industry, we are offering helpful links and resources for information. The situation and environment is changing rapidly, so check back regularly for updated information.

Chapter Services

In an effort to keep our members, guests, and association staff healthy and safe during the COVID-19 public health emergency, we are following local, state, and federal guidelines.

The Oregon-Columbia Chapter is following local and state guidelines. At this time our office is physically closed, but we are still open for business! Any scheduled in-person meetings will be rescheduled and held virtually. Feel free to contact us, 503-682-3363. We will update this information as conditions change.

Here’s the Latest in News

Statewide Freeze Guidance – Masks, Face Coverings, Face Shields

[November 18] The Oregon Health Authority has released updated guidance on masks, face coverings, and face shields in accordance with the new statewide freeze. This latest statewide face covering guidance affects all workplaces, including indoor and outdoor construction sites and office environments. Click here to view the document.

“Two-Week Freeze” Now in Effect

[November 18] In response to rising COVID-19 cases around Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown has instituted a statewide “freeze,” per Executive Order 20-65, effective today. The new statewide restrictions, detailed below, will last until at least Dec. 2 – likely longer for more populous counties. (Gov. Brown has already announced that Multnomah County will be under these restrictions for at least four weeks.)

The “freeze” includes the following new restrictions and closures:

  • Take-out only from restaurants and bars
  • Close all gyms and fitness organizations
  • Close indoor recreational and entertainment facilities, including theaters, museums, pools, sports courts and hosting venues
  • Close outdoor recreational facilities, zoos, gardens, aquariums, entertainment activities, including pools and hosting venues
  • Faith-based gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors
  • Prohibits indoor visits to long-term care facilities
  • Limits grocery stores and pharmacies to 75% capacity, encourages curbside pick-up
  • Limits retail stores and retail malls — both indoor and outdoor — to a 75% capacity and encourages curbside pick-up
  • Requires all businesses mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible and close offices to the public

Sector specific guidance is forthcoming and will be posted to OBI’s website as it is available.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

Information provided by Oregon Business & Industry.

Governor Kate Brown Issues Executive Order on the Temporary Freeze to Stop the Rapid Spread of COVID-19

The order outlines risk reduction measures, effective for two weeks beginning Nov. 18, in all Oregon counties 

[November 17] Governor Kate Brown today issued Executive Order 20-65 following last week’s announcement of a statewide freeze to stop the rapid community spread of COVID-19 in Oregon. In light of increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the order outlines necessary risk reduction measures designed to limit gatherings and curb human contact.

“I know Oregonians have made tremendous sacrifices throughout this pandemic and that these new, temporary restrictions may seem daunting,” said Governor Brown. “But, we are at a breaking point. If we don’t take further action, we risk continued alarming spikes in infections and hospitalizations, and we risk the lives of our neighbors and loved ones.

“I also know that Oregonians come together in times of need, and we owe it to each other to take these measures seriously. It is up to all of us to work together to get this virus under control.”

Executive Order 20-65 addresses the following in detail:

  • Limiting at-home and social gatherings, as well as faith institutions
  • Limiting the maximum capacity for grocery stores, pharmacies, and retail stores
  • Restricting food and drink establishments to take-out only
  • Requiring workplaces to mandate work-from-home as much as possible
  • Closing certain businesses, including gyms, museums, zoos, and indoor recreation facilities

As with the Governor’s previous executive orders related to COVID-19, all of the freeze measures are enforceable by law upon both individuals and businesses. However, the Governor is urging voluntary compliance. These measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 are a necessity to give Oregon a fighting chance to flatten the curve and save lives.

Governor Brown added: “I expect local law enforcement to continue to use an education first approach, but Oregonians need to understand that these rules are enforceable under law. A large majority of Oregonians continue to do the right thing to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbors. However, when Oregonians don’t take COVID-19 seriously, and don’t take steps to reduce the spread of the disease, they put all of us at risk. We need all Oregonians to use common sense, make smart choices, and take seriously their individual responsibilities during a public health emergency.”

The full text of Executive Order 20-65 is available here.

Sector specific guidance is forthcoming and will be posted to the governor’s coronavirus webpage as it is available.

Washington: New Safe Start Restrictions Effective 11/16 at Midnight

[November 16] Washington’s Governor, Jay Inslee, has announced new rules which are effective Monday, Nov. 16th at midnight (12:01 am Tuesday), except for where noted as in the case of restaurants (see specifics below). If the activity is not listed, it should follow its current guidance. All K-12/higher education and childcare is exempt from the new restrictions and will follow current guidance. These restrictions do not apply to courts and court-related proceedings.

  • Indoor social gatherings with people from outside your household are prohibited.
  • Outdoor social gatherings should be limited to 5 people from outside your household.
  • Restaurants and bars are closed for indoor service. Outdoor dining and to-go service is permitted. Outdoor dining must follow the outdoor dining restriction. Table size limited to 5 for outdoor dining. These restaurant restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 18.
  • Fitness facilities and gyms are closed for indoor operations. Outdoor fitness classes may still occur but they are limited by the outdoor gathering restriction listed above. Drop off childcare is closed.
  • Bowling Centers are closed for indoor service.
  • Miscellaneous Venues: All retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be performed remotely is allowed. Occupancy in each meeting room is limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Movie Theaters are closed for indoor service. Drive-in movie theaters are still permitted and must follow the current drive-in movie theater guidance.
  • Museums/Zoos/Aquariums are closed for indoor service.
  • Real Estate open houses are prohibited.
  • Wedding and Funeral receptions are prohibited. Ceremonies are limited to no more than 30 people.
  • In-store retail limited to 25% indoor occupancy and must close any common/congregate non-food related seating areas. Food court indoor seating is closed.
  • Religious services limited to 25% indoor occupancy or no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer. No choir, band, or ensemble shall perform during the service. Soloists are permitted to perform. Facial coverings must be worn at all times by congregation members and no congregational singing.
  • Professional Services are required to mandate that employees work from home when possible, and to close offices to the public. If they remain open, occupancy is restricted to 25%.
  • Personal services are limited to 25% of maximum occupancy.
  • Long-term Care Facilities are allowed outdoor visits only. Exceptions can be made for essential support person and end-of-life care.
  • Youth (school and non-school) and adult sporting activities limited to outdoor only for intrateam practices, masks required for athletes.

A household is defined as the individuals residing in the same domicile.

This information provided by HR Answers, AGC’s human resources partner. Chapter members have access to their services through the HR Advice program.

Governor Kate Brown Announces Statewide Two-Week Freeze to Stop Rapid Spread of COVID-19

New measures take effect Wednesday, Nov. 18, in all Oregon counties

[November 13] Governor Kate Brown today announced a statewide Two-Week Freeze, implementing new measures to limit gatherings and stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 across Oregon. The Two-Week Freeze measures will be in effect from Nov. 18 through Dec. 2, statewide. These risk reduction measures are critical in limiting the spread of COVID-19, reducing risk in communities more vulnerable to serious illness and death, and helping conserve hospital capacity so that all Oregonians can continue to have access to quality care.

“Since I announced a Two-Week Pause one week ago, we are seeing an alarming spike in both cases and hospitalizations,” said Governor Brown. “The virus is spreading in the community and, every day, it is infecting more and more Oregonians. This situation is dangerous and our hospitals have been sounding the alarms. If we want to give Oregon a fighting chance, we must take further measures to flatten the curve and save lives. I know this is hard, and we are weary. But, we are trying to stop this ferocious virus from quickly spreading far and wide. And in Oregon, we actually can do this.

“Given the data and modeling we are seeing, my public health experts tell me that some counties will need longer to flatten the curve. So I want to be very clear that there are some COVID-19 hotspot counties that will likely need to stay in the Freeze for much longer than two weeks. Multnomah County, for example, will be in this Freeze for at least four weeks. Our actions right now, no matter where in the state you live, are critical.”

The Two-Week Freeze measures include:

    • Limiting social get-togethers (indoors and outdoors) to no more than six people, total, from no more than two households.
    • Limiting faith-based organizations to a maximum of 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.
    • Limiting eating and drinking establishments to take-out and delivery only.
    • Closing gyms and fitness organizations.
    • Closing indoor recreational facilities, museums, indoor entertainment activities, and indoor pools and sports courts.
    • Closing zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor entertainment activities, and outdoor pools.
    • Limiting grocery stores and pharmacies to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.
    • Limiting retail stores and retail malls (indoor and outdoor) to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.
    • Closing venues (that host or facilitate indoor or outdoor events).
    • Requiring all businesses to mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible and closing offices to the public.
    • Prohibiting indoor visiting in long-term care facilities (outdoor visitation permitted for supporting quality of life).

The Two-Week Freeze does not apply to or change current health and safety protocols for personal services (such as barber shops, hair salons, and non-medical massage therapy), congregate homeless sheltering, outdoor recreation and sports, youth programs, childcare, K-12 schools, K-12 sports currently allowed, current Division 1 and professional athletics exemptions, and higher education — all of which can continue operating under previous guidance issued by the Oregon Health Authority.

For all other permitted activities listed above, the Oregon Health Authority will be issuing sector-specific guidance within the next week. Sectors without specific prohibitions or guidance must operate under this general employer guidance.

Governor Brown’s full remarks are available here.

A link to Governor Brown’s press conference is available here.

2020 CCB License Expiration Date Extension

Notice of Temporary Rule / State of Oregon Building Codes Division

[November 10] This rule filing is a continuation of the temporary rules that extended the renewal deadline for licenses that were due to renew between April 1, 2020 and December 1, 2020, until January 15, 2021. This extension is in response to the ongoing, and anticipated continuing, difficulties license holders are facing due to Covid-19. View the temporary rule.

PPP Packet to Help Contractors Document Market Conditions When Loans Were Requested

[Oct 27] AGC of America has prepared a packet of information to help document current market conditions that helped influence many firms’ decisions for Paycheck Protection Program loans now that the government is starting to review PPP forgiveness requests. The intent of this packet is to provide a snapshot of media coverage starting on March 27 – the launch of the initial round of Paycheck Protection Program loans – covering topics like declining demand, growing layoffs and general worries about market conditions for the construction industry. View the packet.

Oregon Now Requires Employers to Provide Masks to Workers

[Oct 20] Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wears a mask that looks like the State of Oregon flag.Courtesy of Oregon Gov. Brown

Oregon employers must provide free masks, face coverings or face shields to employees, according to the state’s expanded face covering guidance.

New guidance from the Oregon Health Authority released Monday requires businesses owners with indoor and outdoor spaces open to the public and employers with public or private workplaces to make free masks, face coverings or face shields available to employees.

Employers are also strongly encouraged, but not required, to provide free face coverings for customers and visitors who do not have one.

The Oregon Health Authority issued the expanded guidance Monday, a day before the state surpassed 40,000 total COVID-19 cases. The expanded guidance requires Oregonians to wear face coverings in all private and public workplaces, except in cases where someone is alone in an office or in a private workspace.

People must also now wear masks in outdoor markets, street fairs and both private and public universities. Health officials are also now recommending that people choose masks and face coverings over face shields. By Jamie Goldberg | The Oregonian/OregonLive

PPP Forgiveness Just Got Easier

[Oct 16] A simplified application form has been released to streamline the Paycheck Protection Program’s forgiveness process for small businesses. Form 3508S requires fewer calculations for businesses that borrowed $50,000 or less, although such borrowers will still need to certify that funds were used appropriately, payroll costs totaled 60% or more of the forgiveness amount and all owner-employee limitations and caps were met. Read more (Kiplinger Online)

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Archived Information & Related Links

COVID-19 Job Site Practices Poster

• 8.5 x 11 Jobsite Practices Poster

• 11 x 17 Jobsite Practices Poster

New! COVID-19 Job site Be Smart: Stay 6 Feet Apart Banner (3′ x7′)

Job site banners are available now. If you are a participant in the AGC/SAIF workers’ comp program, you should have been contacted by your safety management consultant. Contact your safety management consultant or Lisa Wisler, 503-685-8306.

Grant Funding Available to Support Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 in Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties

[Sept 17] Business grants are available for businesses in Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties. Applications will be available until all funding is no longer available. A business must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

• The Business is headquartered in Oregon and has its principal operations in Oregon.

• If required by Oregon law to be registered with the Oregon Secretary of State to do business in Oregon, the Business is so registered.

• The Business has 25 or fewer employees.

The Business was adversely affected in either one of the following two ways:

1. For-profit and non-profit (limited to 501(c)(3) corporations) businesses that were prohibited from operation as directed by Executive Order 20-12.

2. For-profit and non-profit (limited to 501(c)(3) corporations) businesses that can demonstrate a one-month decline in sales of50% or more, incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning in the month of March 2020 up to the date of this application as compared against sales in the month of January 2020 or February 2020, or as compared against the same period of time in 2019.

Click here to apply.

Updated FAQs Regarding COVID-19 Related Employment Issues

[June 30] In light of new employment laws relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing these FAQs from Amanda Gamblin and Annyika Corbett at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. This guidance is intended to assist you in understanding new policies at the federal and state level.

Click here for the updated version of the document.

Preparing for a Slowdown/Shutdown

[March 23] Prepared by the Oregon-Columbia Chapter Legal Operating Committee: Steps a contractor should be considering when evaluating impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency FMLA Now in Effect

[April 3] The federal emergency Family Medical Leave Act and sick leave related to COVID-19 went into effect on Wednesday, April 1. The U.S. Department of Labor outlined these requirements for employers to provide to their all their employees:

• Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay if an employee is quarantined or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis

• Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay if the employee needs to care for an individual in quarantine, or if a school or childcare provider is closed for COVID-19 related reasons.

If the employee has been working for more than 30 days, the employer must provide:

• Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed for COVID-19 related reasons.

Employers must provide employees with information about the new benefits. Read more at the Department of Labor’s webpage here, and download the required poster.

Eligible employers can claim a dollar-for-dollar tax credit that will help with these new leave requirements. Visit the Internal Revenue Service’s website to learn more.

Coronavirus Small Business Resource Navigator

[April 2] Governor Kate Brown has announced the launch of the Coronavirus Small Business Resource Navigator. This tool will assist small businesses with financial support and information they need to stay in business through the COVID-19 crisis.

The Resource Navigator will include a hotline and a website containing comprehensive information on key programs for small businesses, available at

More information on the Resource Navigator is available here:

• Coronavirus Small Business Resource Navigator

• Guide to federal, state, and local resources

U.S. Department of the Treasury Summary and FAQs: Federal Paid Leave Mandates for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses

[April 2] The U.S. Department of the Treasury posted a summary and FAQs on the refundable tax credits from the new federal paid leave mandates for small and mid-sized businesses. You can find this information here.

FFCRA Tax Credits

[April 1] The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides businesses with tax credits to cover certain costs of providing employees with required paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19. This link from the Internal Revenue Service provides information on the tax credits and answers FAQs.

Oregon Secretary of State: Coronavirus Resources for Business

[March 26] Our office is working directly with businesses seeking answers and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to address some of the questions being asked, we’re providing this Frequently Asked Question sheet. Please know that there are many resources available, and local resources may differ from those offered by the state or federal government. For information about a specific program, it’s best to contact the provider of that resource directly. Read the document

Paid-leave program to help some employees who need to quarantine

[Sept 14] A new program starts this week to help people who work in Oregon and need to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 exposure, but do not have access to COVID-19-related paid sick leave, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today.

The COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program was created with $30 million received from the federal government to help Oregon respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

People who qualify will receive a $120 per-day payment for up to 10 working days ($1,200 total) for the time they are required quarantine.

Employees can apply online starting Wednesday, Sept. 16, at

The application form is available in English, Spanish, and Russian. Those who do not have access to electronic applications can call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130. Those who need help in a language other than these three can call 503-947-0131 for help.

DCBS and the Department of Revenue are collaborating on the new program to ensure employees meet the necessary eligibility requirements.

You must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible for the program:

• Work in Oregon and required to file an Oregon personal income tax return.

• Directed to quarantine by a local or tribal public health authority or health care provider because of exposure to someone infected, or isolating because you have COVID-19-related symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis.

• Not able to work (including telework) because you need to quarantine or isolate.

• Do not expect to earn more than $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020.

• Your employer does not provide COVID-19-related paid sick leave or you have exhausted your available COVID-19-related paid sick leave.

• Are not applying for or receiving unemployment insurance benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation.

• Are not applying for or receiving workers’ compensation claim benefits due to quarantine or isolation.

• Are not seeking or using benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs in Oregon or another state.

• Are not applying for or receiving other forms of paid leave from your employer during your quarantine or isolation, such as banked sick leave or vacation leave.

• Are not laid off or furloughed by your employer.

• Must have notified your employer that you need to quarantine or isolate.

Because the available funds are limited, the program is available only to quarantine periods that were in place on or after Sept. 16. Applicants can claim only one quarantine period.

For more information or to apply, go to or call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The website also contains an eligibility quiz to help people who are not sure if they qualify.

Updated FAQs Regarding COVID-19 Related Employment Issues

[June 30] In light of new employment laws relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing these FAQs from Amanda Gamblin and Annyika Corbett at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. This guidance is intended to assist you in understanding new policies at the federal and state level.

Click here for the updated version of the document.

HR Answers FFCRA Quick Reference Sheets

[April 10] HR Answers has posted some quick reference information sheets that have been put together based on the most recent information provided by the Department of Labor. Read more


[March 31] The U.S. Department of Labor continues to update its websites in advice for employers dealing with coronavirus-related questions. It has a Q&A website for the Family and Medical Leave Act, which is available by clicking here. It includes clarification on which employees are eligible to take sick leave, or leave, to care for a family member, when an employer must grant leave, legal responsibilities for employers and more.

Emergency FMLA rules go into effect April 1. Don’t forget to download this required poster.

HR Answers Update

[March 27] Today’s updates are brief. We have posted an updated slide presentation based on the Department of Labor Guidance. Please don’t forget employee notices will need to be provided by Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Posters are provided by the DOL. Remember, if your employees are working some place different than usual, you will need to make sure they get the notice. We do believe you should also post physical posters as these provisions will continue through the end of the year. We are hoping to have employees back in our places of work long before the anticipated expiration.

This information and more can be found on our website.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) Employee Rights Poster

[March 25] Like other labor and employment postings, this must be posted in a conspicuous place where covered employees will see. For remote workers, most employers will post electronically; alert them to the new posting and confirm e-access by each employee. Click here for full information.

• Download the poster

• En espanol

• Federal Employe Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

• En espanol

• Frequently Asked Questions on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Employer Resource for Determining Leave Eligibility Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

[March 25] We know the pace and complexity of the changing leave regulations during the coronavirus emergency is overwhelming.  To help you administer the new leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, we have created a flow chart for determining eligibility.  Regulations from the Department of Labor (“DOL”), expected in the next week, will provide clarity on this process.  We plan to re-release this tool on April 1 to reflect these regulations, but in the meantime, we hope this tool helps you prepare for April 1. Click here for the leave eligibility tool. Provided by Barran Liebman Attorneys

Help in Navigating Human Resources issues during COVID-19

[March 24] HR Answers has been in full swing and is creating and updating a series of resources to assist companies in navigating COVID-19 related human resource related issues, particularly related to new state and federal mandates. This includes:

• Sample furlough and layoff letters

• Federal Department of Labor – link to Employer and Employee guidance, Q & A, required posters and more.

• State specific Work Share Program links

• State specific Insurance Regulator links

• State specific OSHA links

As a partner of AGC Columbia-Oregon Chapter, HR Answers’ services are free to AGC members. For more information, visit their website.

Breaking Down the New Federal Emergency Paid-Leave Entitlements

[March 20] President Trump has signed HR 6201, federal legislation providing emergency paid and family leave in certain circumstances. The final bill has significant differences compared to the original. Make sure you know what’s included… Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP Blog

COVID-19 Employment Update: New Federal Leave Requirements

[March 19] On March 18, 2020, Congress passed and the President signed into law HR 6201, a broad-ranging response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Two principal provisions of HR 6201 will impact employers—a temporary expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide paid leave for employees unable to work due to closure of schools and child-care facilities and temporary paid sick leave for COVID-19-related absences. HR 6201 will become effective April 2, 2020 (15 days after enactment). Click here to learn more. (Information provided by Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt)

Furlough, Layoff, or Reduction in Force in Light of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Effective April 2, 2020

[March 19] HR Answers, AGC’s human resources partner is providing a free webinar on March 23, 10 am–Noon. Click here to register.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed yesterday by our president. This is an economic stimulus plan aimed at addressing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Americans and introducing paid sick leave and an expanded family and medical leave act to the nation’s employers impacted by COVID-19 and those serving as caregivers for individuals with COVID-19. HR Answers published this alert with information about the provisions that impact employers and their responsibilities to employees. Click here to learn more.

Layoffs & Mandatory Closures: What Employers Need to Know & Consider

[March 18] Barran Liebman Attorneys blog

Safety is our biggest concern for jobsite workers. Please visit the COVID-19 Safety & Health page for resources.

AGC of America Launches New Website

[April 14] AGCA’s new website,, is designed to highlight how the construction industry is working to protect construction workers and the public from the spread of the coronavirus. It highlights many of the steps firms are taking to protect workers, and includes photos of different examples of these practices. Check it out!

Ergonomics for the Home Office

Working from a home office can put stress on our backs, necks, arms, and hands that lead to discomfort, fatigue, or soreness. SAIF has collected resources to help workers in non-office environments.

Cybersecurity Best Practices for Remote Workers

[March 26] The global response to the COVID-19 outbreak has led to a drastic increase in companies empowering their teams to work remotely. While this technological interconnection is a great opportunity to keep people working, it’s also an opportunity for hackers trying to gain access to your valuable data.

As we shift to remote work it’s important to keep cybersecurity at the forefront. Here are some tips to equip remote workers to protect yourself from emerging security threats. Read more

Which Remote Meeting Platform Works Best for Me?

[March 25] Six feet apart doesn’t have to cancel your meeting or event! There are a variety of webinar/remote platforms that are available to still get your message out. Here’s a quick review of what Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and GoTo Meeting offer.

Best Practices for Working Remotely

[March 23] We live in a unique moment when technology allows us to remain connected during times of uncertainty. Digital platforms create opportunities to continue our work even when we can’t connect in person. As many companies rush to mobilize a remote workforce due to complications from the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important to implement these technologies in a way that not only empowers but protects your company and your teams. Read more (information provided by Convergence Networks)

Legal Implications of COVID-19

[March 18] We are all adjusting to a “new normal” and trying to stay on top of key legal issues that are coming to the forefront for our clients across industries. As part of that effort, at Schwabe we’ve put together a COVID-19 website that includes resources (articles, short videos) about these legal issues and other topics; it’s located at

For the real estate and construction industry, Michael Herbst (a shareholder in our Seattle office) shares some good information and ideas about how to deal with project complications and associated legal theories. He also gives his thoughts on how COVID-19 may affect the development market.

Stephanie Berntsen (another shareholder in our Seattle office) provides an overview of employment-related issues. There is other information, and we will be regularly adding to this content. I think you’ll find these resources helpful.

During this time of quarantine, separation, and possibly isolation, it’s important that people check in on family and friends via phone, video chat, text, or email. If you or someone you know needs help and support, there are free resources available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for those experiencing a mental health crisis or thoughts of suicide.

Click here for a list of more construction-specific information.

• Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)

• Support in Spanish: 888-628-9454

• Text: “HOME” to 741741

• 503-988-4888

• Toll-free: 800-716-9769

• Hearing-impaired dial: 711

• Lifeline: 800-273-8255

• Text: “273TALK” to 839863

• Teen-to-teen services from 4–10 pm daily

• Youthline: 877-968-8491

• Text: “TEEN2TEEN” to 839863

• Email:

• Specific to LGBTQ youth

• Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386

• Text: “TREVOR” to 202-304-1200 from noon–7 pm

  • County Mental Health Call Centers

• Clackamas County: 503-655-8585

• Multnomah County: 503-988-4888

• Washington County: 503-291-9111

• Clark County: 360-696-9560 OR 1-800-686-8137

Governor Kate Brown Extends COVID-19 State of Emergency for 60 Days

Labor Day weekend marks critical moment to prevent outbreaks at beginning of school year

[September 1] Governor Kate Brown today extended her declaration of a state of emergency regarding COVID-19 for an additional 60 days, until November 3, 2020. The declaration is the legal underpinning for the Governor’s COVID-19 executive orders and the Oregon Health Authority’s health and safety guidance. The Governor reviews and reevaluates her emergency orders every 60 days. She issued the following statement:

“When I last extended the COVID-19 state of emergency in June, I told Oregonians that we were at a crossroads: we could work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, or we could watch infections and hospitalizations spike.

“Now, six months after this crisis began, we have made progress. Together, we have slowed the spread of this disease. Oregon has one of the lowest mortality rates in the country. But, as students across Oregon begin a school year far different than any other before, it is clear that, at current COVID-19 levels, it will not be safe in much of the state for children to return to in-classroom instruction for months to come.

“This Labor Day weekend is another critical moment in this crisis.

“We can work together to stay safe and put Oregon on the path to return more students to classrooms. Or, we could see Labor Day celebrations unknowingly sow the seeds of COVID-19 outbreaks that could set us back for months. Until there is an effective vaccine for COVID-19, this disease can spread like wildfire if we let our guard down.

“Small social get-togethers like barbecues and family celebrations have fueled wider community outbreaks in counties across Oregon. This weekend, you have a choice. Please, stay local this Labor Day, and practice safe COVID-19 habits. Wear a face covering, watch your physical distance, and wash your hands.

“We know this can work. We have seen it work in rural and urban communities that have experienced significant outbreaks. Last week, Multnomah and Hood River counties came off the Watch List. All we need now is the will to follow this through to the end.

“We have come this far together. And that’s the only way we’ll get through this––working together, day by day, to keep each other healthy and safe until we reach the day that there is an effective vaccine or treatment for this disease.”

The state of emergency declaration is the legal underpinning for the executive orders the Governor has issued to keep Oregonians healthy and safe throughout this crisis, including her orders on reopening Oregon while maintaining essential health and safety protections, as well as orders around childcare, schools, and higher education operations. Extending the state of emergency declaration allows those orders to stay in effect.

The Governor reviews and reevaluates each of her emergency orders every 60 days, to determine whether those orders should be continued, modified, or rescinded. The findings of this review process are listed in the executive order.

First Month of Statewide Enforcement Efforts Finds Businesses Largely in Compliance with Face Covering, Physical Distancing Requirements

Over 3,600 businesses inspected since July 4th, statewide weekend inspections and enforcement to continue

[August 5] One month after announcing that state inspectors would be conducting weekend spot checks in bars, restaurants, breweries, tasting rooms, and other establishments that serve alcohol to enforce state face covering and physical distancing requirements, Governor Kate Brown today thanked Oregonians and the vast majority of business owners who have helped to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“One month ago, at the beginning of the July 4th weekend, I told Oregonians that we stood at a crossroads: we could either stop the spread of COVID-19, or watch infections and hospitalizations rise across Oregon, leading to the closure of businesses and counties again,” said Governor Brown. “We still have a long road ahead of us. Infections continue to rise. But I’d like to thank Oregonians, business owners, and local officials for stepping up to the plate to help make sure we are all wearing face coverings, keeping our physical distance, and working together to keep our friends, neighbors, loved ones, and fellow Oregonians safe.”

Since July 4th, Oregon Liquor Control Commission inspectors have spot checked over 3,600 licensed establishments. More than 93% have been found to be in compliance with physical distancing and face covering requirements. Of the small number found not to be in compliance, the vast majority took steps to implement corrective measures when given instructions by OLCC about how to achieve compliance. Only about 1% of spot-checked business were referred to Oregon OSHA for further investigation.

Likewise, Oregon OSHA has fielded over 3,400 COVID-19 related complaints from the public and others about businesses and workplaces since the week of July 4th and found only a small number of businesses to be in violation of COVID-19 health and safety requirements.

Since March, Oregon OSHA has conducted over 5,000 spot checks of businesses, initiated more than 60 inspections based on COVID-19 related complaints, and have found it necessary to issue 14 citations and five Red Warning Notices. Red Warning Notices apply to businesses that appear to be in willful violation of Oregon’s COVID-19 health and safety guidance or who refuse to take corrective measures. Such businesses are closed until the hazardous condition is remedied. Violation of a Red Warning Notice results in stiff penalties.

OLCC inspectors have reported some business owners are continuing to choose not to follow health and safety requirements. For those businesses, OLCC has the ability to suspend licenses for failing to follow face covering and physical distancing requirements. OLCC took action yesterday and suspended the liquor license of a Rogue River bar and restaurant.

Governor Brown added: “Let me be clear: businesses that do not follow the health and safety guidance established by the Oregon Health Authority are putting their employees, their customers, and their communities at risk, risking community-wide closures for other businesses as well if a COVID-19 outbreak starts to spread out of control.”

OLCC will post regular inspection updates to its website on a rolling basis. Oregon OSHA COVID-19 workplace guidance and resources are available here.

Contractors in Oregon have been able to continue to work throughout the pandemic, with new federal and state safety and health guidelines. AGC continues to encourage contractors to follow those guidelines; visit our COVID Safety & Health webpage for updates and resources.

Oregon Health Authority Launches New COVID-19 Test Site Locator

[July 24] This week, the Oregon Health Authority announced the creation of a COVID-19 test site locator to help Oregonians across the state find testing sites in their community. The interactive map is available on pages in both English, Spanish, and multiple other languages.

You can view the tool here.

The announcement came as Oregon surpassed 15,000 confirmed cases.

“Removing barriers to testing is important to help Oregonians stay healthy and to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Dean Sidelinger, MD, state epidemiologist and state health officer. “This new resource can help people find ongoing testing locations in their community, which is especially important for people who don’t have a primary care provider.”

People who experience COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, should contact a health care provider to discuss whether to be tested. Health care providers determine whether testing is appropriate based on symptoms and test availability in their area. Information provided by Oregon Business & Industry.

Oregon Gov. Brown Signs Tax Technical Corrections Bill Into Law

[July 9] The Oregon Legislature, in special session in late June, passed HB4202, the Corporate Activities Tax (CAT) technical corrections bill. This was exactly the same language negotiated in the bill supported by the business community in the February “short” session, but which failed to pass. Because the special session was generally bipartisan and noncontroversial, it passed both houses easily and was signed by the governor on June 30. It will take effect Sept. 25.

The Legislature did not take up the matter of reconnecting Oregon’s state tax code to the federal tax code in the special session, although that was also considered noncontroversial in February. With the advent of the COVID-19 situation and the passage by Congress of the CARES Act, there is discussion about disconnecting from some provisions of the CARES Act. That was pushed until later because of this new complexity, and will be watched carefully.

Temporary Rule Allowing Deferral of License Renewal September 14, 2020

[June 15] Oregon’s Construction Contractors Board is allowing additional time for contractors to temporarily defer the renewal of their contractor license through September 14, 2020. While contractors are encouraged to renew on time, CCB understands that due to the busy season and COVID-19, circumstances are certainly unusual at this time. If you have questions, visit the website, call 503-378-4621 or email

PPP Loans, EIDL Advances, SBA Loan Subsidies Not Subject to CAT

[May 6] The Oregon Department of Revenue has determined that certain federal assistance to businesses under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is not commercial activity under Oregon statute and will not be subject to the Corporate Activity Tax.

The exempt assistance includes forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances, and Small Business Administration (SBA) loan subsidies. More information can be found in the Beyond the FAQ section of the CAT page on the department’s website.

Read more

Official Department of Revenue Guidance Regarding First Quarterly CAT Tax Payments

[April 29] The Oregon Department of Revenue is adjusting requirements of businesses making estimated quarterly payments of the Corporate Activity Tax.

Beginning immediately, Revenue has revised OAR 150-317-1300, dated April 27, 2020, to reflect a change in the threshold for making estimated tax payments from $5,000 of annual tax liability to $10,000 of annual tax liability for the first year of the tax. This means businesses that will owe less than $10,000 are not required to make quarterly estimated tax payments during 2020.

Revenue also won’t assess penalties for underestimated quarterly payments or for not making a quarterly payment, if businesses don’t have the financial ability to make the estimated payment.

If businesses know they’ll owe $10,000 or more in annual Corporate Activity Tax in 2020 and can pay, they should make estimated quarterly payments and comply with the law to the fullest extent possible.

Information and a worksheet for calculating quarterly payments can be found on the CAT page of the agency website under the Beyond the FAQ “When are estimated payments required?” The information has recently been updated to reflect the higher threshold of $10,000 or more.

The Department of Revenue will honor a business taxpayer’s good-faith efforts to comply and not assess penalties if they document their efforts to comply, including how COVID-19 has impacted their business.

If businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 and are finding it difficult to calculate or pay an estimated quarterly payment, they should keep documentation showing:

• Their inability to pay a quarterly payment because of insufficient funds due to COVID-19.

• Their inability to reasonably calculate a quarterly payment or annual tax liability due to their business being impacted by COVID-19.

• That the taxpayer is unclear at this time whether the business will owe Corporate Activity Tax in April 2020 due to COVID-19 impacts, after taking into consideration exclusions and subtractions in the law.

Businesses uncertain about their economic future due to the COVID-19 crisis, or those that have been closed during this crisis and have no ability to determine that they will owe a tax this year, won’t be penalized.

Stakeholders can direct questions or comments about the CAT via email to or call 503-945-8005.

Oregon Gives Businesses a Break on New Corporate Activity Tax

[April 29] The state of Oregon is not backing off on implementing a new $1 billion business tax this year, but it is giving businesses a break on quarterly payments.

The Department of Revenue announced Wednesday that businesses with an annual liability of less than $10,000 for the corporate activity tax will not be required to make quarterly payments. The move raises the liability threshold for quarterly payments from $5,000.

The department also said it would not assess penalties on businesses if they cannot make a payment now.

Read full article in the Portland Business Journal (subscription required).

CAT Update – No Delay for Implementation

[April 24] This week Governor Brown stated that she does not support delaying implementation of the CAT (Gross Receipts Tax), even after hearing from AGC and dozens of other business associations and interests regarding the severe cash flow issues and their ability to stay open for business. The governor did relay that Oregon will waive penalties for first quarter payments as companies face challenges but hopes they’ll do “the best they can” making CAT payments. Oregon’s Department of Revenue will be issuing additional official guidance on this in the coming days and we’ll be updating the website accordingly.

Click here to view the COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable held Thursday 4/23 to hear directly from Governor Brown.

Construction Industry and State Agencies Partner to Keep Workers Safe Amid COVID-19

[April 3] The Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter (AGC) has partnered with the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) and the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) to develop a comprehensive list of COVID-19 jobsite safety recommendations. Read more.

Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division FAQs

[April 2] The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division posted answers to frequently asked questions on their website. These provide guidance for how to proceed with complications from COVID-19 restrictions that impact existing workers’ compensation claims. The FAQs page can be found here.

BOLI Temporary Administrative Orders

[March 26] BOLI has released new temporary administrative orders in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first temporary rule expands the Oregon Family Leave Act to include caring for a child whose school or childcare is closed as a result of a statewide public health emergency.

The other temporary administrative order gives apprenticeship committees a “reasonable and practicable timeframe”  to submit their minutes, instead of the previous 14 day requirement.

• Rule expanding Oregon Family Leave Act

• Apprenticeship committee change

ODOT Addresses Common Concerns and Questions

[March 26] ODOT has put a document together to outline concerns as well as, questions to answers presented in a recent teleconference related to the impacts of COVID-19. To view the document from ODOT’s Construction Section, click here.

Oregon State Police Respond to Questions

[March 24] In an attempt to answer frequently asked questions relating to the enforcement of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-12 “Stay Home, Save Lives,” the Oregon State Police has posted some answers to frequently asked questions. View their post on Facebook.

ODOT Consultant and Contractor Message

[March 24] Existing ODOT A&E and construction contracts are continuing to move forward. We understand there is concern that the COVID-19 pandemic may disrupt supply chains, labor forces, or impact projects. We are working closely with our consultant and contractor partners to assess the state of each project as the impact of COVID-19 unfolds. Read more

New Temporary Building Codes Division Rule – Inspections

[March 21] The Oregon Building Codes Division recently enacted this temporary rule for COVID-19 Response Inspection Flexibility:

OAR 918-098-4000 Inspections During COVID-19 Emergency

(1) The purpose of this rule is to provide greater flexibility to building departments to meet demand and provide services to Oregonians during the COVID-19 emergency without compromising safety. (2) Notwithstanding OAR 918-098-1015, 918-281-0020, and 918-695-0400, a person with an Oregon Inspector Certification and a code certification issued by the Building Codes Division may perform inspections and review plans beyond the scope of work for their code certification if both of the following conditions are met:

(a) The relevant building official determines the person has the skills necessary to perform the specific inspection or plan review without compromising safety; and (b) The relevant building official authorizes the person, in writing, to perform the inspection or plan review.
(3) Consistent with ORS 455.020 and the discretion granted to building officials, nothing in OAR Chapter 918 should be construed to limit the ability of building officials to employ creative solutions and technology in service delivery, including but not limited to the use of virtual inspections, drones, electronic signatures, pictures, granting of written request to reconnect an electrical installation pursuant to ORS 479.570 and OAR 918-311-0070, or any other solution designed to provide service delivery while maintaining safety.

(4) Authorizations under (2) are only valid while this rule is in place. No authorization under (2) may be in effect beyond the effective date of this rule.

Statutory Authority: ORS 455.020, 455.030, 455.720 Statutes Implemented: ORS 455.720

Notice of Temporary Rule – COVID-19 Inspection Response Flexibility

[March 21] To ensure plan reviews and inspections may continue in a safe manner, the Oregon Building Codes Division has issued a temporary rule allowing local jurisdictions additional flexibility. Click here for more information.

DMV Partners With Law Enforcement to Keep Oregonians at Home

[March 21] ODOT’s Driver and Motor Vehicles Division has partnered with Oregon law enforcement agencies to exercise discretion in their enforcement of driver licenses, vehicle registrations and trip permits that expire during the COVID-19 emergency declared by Governor Brown. Oregon’s law enforcement agencies and associations agreed to exercise flexibility and discretion when reviewing driver licenses, registrations, and ID cards. Please note: DEQ has suspended vehicle emissions testing which is relevant for drivers in the Portland metro area and Medford.

While DMV offices are still open, there are many actions that may be taken online including,

• Renewal of vehicle registration (if your tags just expired, you can renew online and print the receipt to take in your car as proof of registration)

• Update your address – if you move within Oregon, you must report your new address to DMV within 30 days

• Report the sale of your vehicle – if you sell your vehicle, you can take an extra step against future parking tickets and towing/storage fees on that car by reporting the sale to DMV online

• Get a trip permit if your tags are expired or license plates are lost or stolen, or if you’ve just bought a car without current plates

The DMV also accepts many transactions through the mail, and phone agents (503-945-5000) are available to help people prepare for a DMV visit, if required.

DMV online services:

Latest on your local DMV

Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB)

[March 19] Given the actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Oregon’s Construction Contractors Board has taken the necessary steps to allow contractors to defer their renewal of existing licenses through June 30, 2020. To view the temporary rule language, click here. To view the CCB FAQ on temporary rules, click here.

Oregon Employment Department

• COVID-19 Related Business Layoffs, Closures, and Unemployment Insurance Benefits

• COVID-19 Resources for Oregon Businesses, Employers, Workers & Job Seekers
This document contains a variety of resources to assist businesses through the current COVID-19 crisis. It includes links to resources and information that cover: financial assistance, guidance and planning, temporary layoffs, closures and unemployment insurance, permanent businesses closures, small business support, and local area business support.

Oregon Health Authority

• COVID-19 Updates

Oregon Health Sciences University

• Coronavirus and COVID-19 Resources for Oregon

Oregon OSHA

• Guidance on preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (publication)

Construction Contractors Board

• COVID-19 Information and Updates for CCB Contractors

Bureau of Labor and Industries

• BOLI website

• Oregon Sick Time

• BOLI hotline to help employers understand Oregon employment laws: 971-673-0824 or email

State of Oregon

• Business Oregon

• Governor Kate Brown

Portland Bureau of Development Services

Services Accessible Online

Many of our services are available to you from your home. Using Development Hub PDX, you can apply online for electrical, mechanical, or plumbing permits that do not require plan review. You can also schedule inspections for trade permits obtained online, update contact information, pay a variety of fees and download billing statements all from a computer or mobile device. BDS also offers a Remote Video Re-inspection service for simple on-site inspections involving minor corrections.

For the latest information on our service availability (for the week of March 30), please click on the links below according to your interest.

    1. New Permit Intakes
    2. Plan Review for Current Permits
    3. Corrections to Plans
    4. Inspections
    5. Land Use Services
    6. FIR and FPP Programs
    7. Questions about Property, Projects and Records
    8. Trade Permits
    9. Payments
    10. Property Compliance – Enforcement and Liens
    11. Permitting and Inspections Services from Other Bureaus
Oregon Association of Nurseries

• OAN Coronavirus Resource


Updated USDOL Guidance on Paid Leave

[March 27] Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) added to its published guidance to provide information to employers about meeting their requirements to offer emergency paid sick leave and paid family medical leave offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.

Specifically, WHD added to its original Questions and Answers document. The new Q&A’s (see questions 15-37) address critical issues, such as recordkeeping, documentation requirements, when an employee is unable to telework, intermittent leave, worksite closures, furloughs, UI interaction, health coverage requirements, and multiemployer collective bargaining agreement implications.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) Employee Rights Poster

[March 25] Like other labor and employment postings, this must be posted in a conspicuous place where covered employees will see. For remote workers, most employers will post electronically; alert them to the new posting and confirm e-access by each employee.

OSHA Provides Guidance on Recording Workplace Exposures to COVID-19

OSHA recordkeeping requirements at 29 CFR Part 1904 (link is external) mandate covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log.

COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties. However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are met:

  1. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19 (see CDC information (link is external) on persons under investigation and presumptive positive and laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19);
  2. The case is work-related, as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5 (link is external); and
  3. The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7 (link is external) (e.g. medical treatment beyond first-aid, days away from work).

For more information, click here.


AGC of America
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA)

Report of the June 2020 AGCA Board of Directors Meeting

[July 9] The AGC of America Board of Directors met on June 18 and 19. They reviewed reports on AGC membership, finances, and on association and industry matters including: AGC Political Action Committee (PAC); AGC Construction Advocacy Fund (CAF); chapter support services; chapter executives’ activities; programs, products and services (PPS); construction leadership council programs; legislative activities; and government relations. The Board of Directors closely monitored the association’s internal administration and contact with other governmental, association, and business interests aided by reports from the association’s chief executive officer and other staff members.

A Summary Report of the recent Board of Directors meeting can be found here.

In addition to this meeting report, it’s a good time to take this opportunity to share some additional information about how AGC of America has been responding to the COVID-19 crisis and the extraordinary efforts that are being made on our member’s behalf.

In the past few months, we have seen how remarkably adaptable our members, chapters and AGC of America staff have been. Even as our chapters and national AGC office have been forced to react to stay at home orders and countless other unforeseen emergencies, we have found a way to accomplish a tremendous amount on behalf of member firms. Some highlights of these accomplishments include:

• Successfully lobbying to have federal officials identify construction as an essential economic activity and getting local officials to keep construction activity underway in much of the country;

• Keeping our members up to date – even as details about the coronavirus and its impact on the industry changed by the day, by the hour and in some cases, by the minute. AGCA provided constant updates on national events;

• Securing relief for hard hit firms by successfully lobbying for measures like the Paycheck Protection Program and local equivalents;

• Educating members and ensuring that they knew how to operate safely and protect workers, and the broader public, from the spread of coronavirus;

• Working with chapters to launch a Working Safe digital advertising campaign and organize a national safety stand down;

• AGCA has converted our meetings to virtual format and have increased attendance; and

• AGCA has developed a virtual delivery option for AGC curriculum.

These are only a few highlights from the past few months. And we believe that this time will be reflected as one of the association’s finest moments as we showed our members just how essential AGC membership is to the success of their business.

AGC of America Launches New Website

[April 14] AGCA’s new website,, is designed to highlight how the construction industry is working to protect construction workers and the public from the spread of the coronavirus. It highlights many of the steps firms are taking to protect workers, and includes photos of different examples of these practices. Check it out!

ConsensusDocs Provides COVID-19 Resource Center

[April 6] ConsensusDocs is providing helpful sample documents to help contractors navigate some of the contract and employment issues that have arisen out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to view the documents.

Clean Hands Save Lives

These videos were created as part of Health Matters, a series for the general public and public health professionals. View the videos.

PPE Supplier

National Safety, Inc.
Matt Strand

COVID-19 Resources: Real Estate and Construction

List of real estate and construction-focused resources, including articles, videos, and resource suites. Information provided by Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt. View list.

Related Resources

COVID Safety & Health

COVID-19 safety and health information, resources, and links

See updated COVID-19 safety information »
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Wildfire News & Resources

Information, updates, and links to local and state wildfire resources.

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Chapter Calendar

Our calendar includes chapter events and meetings, plus related organization training and events. Many are offered online!

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