GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) – The Oregon Employment Department has shut down its Gresham office for 14 days after six employees there tested positive for COVID-19.
Some of those employees are working from home to help catch up on filed claims, OED said during a media briefing on Wednesday.
More than 515,000 unemployment claims have been filed since the pandemic started. To date, they have paid out 300,000 claims, or roughly $2.8 billion, to Oregonians. Right now, they are working to finish catching up on pandemic unemployment assistance claims for gig workers.
They launched a website last week which offers help and provides an online application. They say this has helped cut down the time workers have to process claims.
“We've had some applications where some essential information wasn't provided, things were left blank, and this new application process, will in some cases not allow it to be submitted until that needed information is there, and also give some prompts to people about information that will speed up our ability to process things,” Oregon Employment Department Acting Director David Gerstenfeld said.
OED has had 56,000 unique views to the new website in just the past week. The director says unemployment was down to 11 percent in June, but they expect the number to go back up as cases rise.
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