As news of COVID-19 and the coronavirus pandemic continues to change, we at Pacific Cascade Legal are committed to help you navigate this situation, especially as to how it directly affects the health and well- being of Oregon families. As everyone knows, Governor Kate Brown has declared a State of Emergency in Oregon and has also ordered a Stay at Home Order, both of which are still in effect.
However, she has also issued many other executive Orders to deal with this situation, which have either amended the original orders or put in new protections that we should all be aware of. Today we are highlighting three such orders that we believe can have a direct, positive impact on you, your family and other loved ones (including your pets).
Resumption of Elective and Non-Urgent Procedures by Healthcare Providers, Including Medical, Dental and Veterinary Services.
Effect May 11, 2020, the Stay at Home Order was amended to allow you to schedule and have certain elective and non-urgent procedures in Oregon. This expansion of allowed health services was broad and inclusive of many care settings that had been previously banned. Now, as long as the providers comply with guidance or administrative rules issued by the Oregon Health Authority, elective and non-urgent procedures are allowed in :
- Ambulatory surgery centers
- Outpatient clinics (including community health clinics and student health centers)
- Dental clinics
- Veterinary clinics.
This expands not just medical procedures but also dental and veterinary procedures, which is extremely important for both your teeth and your pets!
Prohibition Against Garnishment of CARES Act Recovery Rebates
This Executive Order by the Governor protects the $1,200 federal economic stimulus payments ($2,400 for married couples), as well as the $500 qualifying child payment, from being garnished by creditors. It was ordered to eliminate a loophole that could have prevented the federal law from being available for their intended purpose, which was to use these funds to pay for their housing, food, medical and other essential needs during the COVID-19 emergency period.
In order to ensure that Oregonians are able to use these payments as intended, there is a two-pronged protection built in:
- The initial payments from the government are exempt from garnishment; and
- The payments remain exempt from garnishment when deposited into an account in a financial institution.
This means that a creditor cannot wait for you to get the payment, deposit it in your bank account, and then garnish it.
The only exception to this prohibition is for garnishments that are issued to collect for a judgment in a criminal action that requires the defendant to pay restitution; or a civil judgment against someone who has been convicted of a criminal offense, provided that the civil judgment is based upon the same underlying facts as the conviction.
Declaration of Abnormal Disruption of the Market Due to COVID-19
This order recognized the ''high" potential public health threat to citizens of Oregon due to COVID-19 and declare an abnormal disruption of the market that is preventing ready availability of essential consumer goods and services.
It authorizes the Oregon Attorney General to investigate price gouging for basic medical and hygiene supplies such as cleaning and such as thermometers, hand sanitizer and masks, as well as other essential consumer goods and services.
It also calls on everyone who believes that they have been subjected to unconscionably excessive prices for essential consumer goods due to this disruption should report that conduct to the Oregon Department of Justice, which has the authority to investigate unlawful trade practices. You can contact them by phone or visiting their website:
- Call the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection hotline, at 503-378-8442.
- Go online to doj.state.or.us/consumer-protection.
As stated, our firm sees great value in providing reliable information and resources for our community, and will continue providing updates on relevant information to the family unit. If you have any questions or would like to speak with a member of our team, you can contact our firm at (888) 981-9511.