COVID-19 Update: The Epidemic Comes to Oregon and the U.S.

This Current Event Resource is a follow up to our first installment about the new novel Coronavirus called COVID-19.

A month ago, we shared the news about a new, unique virus known as the 2019-nCoV infection, that began in China back in December. Since then, the virus, now officially called COVID-19, has spread to over 65 countries, including the United States.  On Friday, February 28, 2020, Governor Kate Brown announced the first confirmed case in Oregon. By March 2, there were 3 confirmed cases and dozens more being tested. While this virus does not have a high mortality rate except for the very elderly or those with underlying health conditions, it is highly contagious and could have an economic and social impact on communities that begin to see outbreaks. Now that we know the virus is in the United States, and in Oregon specifically, how can we as participating civic members of our community, be wise, prepared, and ready to help preserve the general welfare of our neighbors? In this follow-up, we will update you on the latest news (as of publish date), ask some more essential questions for you to consider, and provide you with further resources to connect to the medical and government experts who can give guidance and dispel rumors.


Essential Questions

    • How has the COVID-19 worldwide situation changed in the last month?
    • How has the COVID-19 epidemic affected economic markets, and what further economic impacts do you predict it will have?
    • What do you believe are the most important roles for local, state, and federal governments to play in this outbreak?
    • How much and what kind of information is most helpful during a growing public health event like an outbreak?
    • What is our responsibility as members of a civic society to our neighbors, ourselves, and our community as a whole when a public health crisis occurs?


Live Update Pages

World Health Organization (WHO) Live World Status of COVID-19

U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) upate page for COVID-19  (in cooperation with the National Institutes of Health (NIH))

Interactive Map of Current Known 2019 Coronavirus Cases – Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering







The Daily: The Coronavirus Goes Global, Feb. 27, 2020










Episode 1: Do we need a Coronavirus «Czar»?


From the «Deep Background» Podcast, an Interview with Dr. Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at Harvard University, Feb. 29, 2020


Other Media

World Health Organization: Coronavirus Prevention

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Recent News

National & International:

Live Coronavirus Updates: U.S. Death Toll Rises as Virus Picks Up Speed – New York Times, March 2, 2020

Coronavirus live updates: 4 more die in Seattle area, bringing US death toll to 6 – USA Today, March 2, 2020

Coronavirus: today’s developments at a glance – The Guardian, March 2, 2020

Coronavirus Testing: What To Know As It Becomes Available Across The U.S. – NPR News, March 2, 2020

How is the coronavirus outbreak going to end? Here’s how similar epidemics played out – Washington Post, March 2, 2020

Coronavirus: World in ‘uncharted territory’ – BBC News, March 2, 2020

Global economy will ‘stop just short’ of recession from coronavirus, Goldman economist says – CNBC News, March 2, 2020

ACCA eyes global economic impact of coronavirus – Accounting Today, March 2, 2020

Coronavirus escalation could cut global economic growth in half  – The Guardian, March 2, 2020

Travelers will face new restrictions and cancellations as coronavirus cases grow in the US – CNN, March 2, 2020


The Pacific Northwest:

Six coronavirus deaths in Washington state, King County declares emergency – Q13Fox News, March 2, 2020

3rd Oregon coronavirus patient is casino worker who attended youth basketball game in Umatilla County – The Oregonian/Oregon Live, March 2, 2020

Businesses, schools react to news of virus in Oregon – KOIN6 News, March 2, 2020

Oregon’s third presumptive case of COVID-19 coronavirus: Person works at Wildhorse Resort & Casino – Fox12 News, March 2, 2020


Adjustable Lexile Level Articles from Newsela:

Markets shudder again on virus fears, extending recent rout

Your most urgent questions about the new coronavirus

Misguided virus fears said to be hitting Asian American businesses

Tracking the spread of deadly new coronavirus


Geography & Timelines

The Korean clusters – Infographic showing how one patient impacted the massive spread of COVID-19 – Reuters, Feb. 26, 2020

Interactive Map of Current Known 2019 Coronavirus Cases – Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

Coronavirus Outbreak Timeline – The Mercury News (California Bay Area), March 2, 2020

Timeline: How the Coronavirus Spread – Al Jazeera, March 2, 2020


Lesson Plans & Ideas

Nature of an Epidemic – PBS POV Lesson Plan

Pandemic Lesson Plan – Australian Institute for Disaster Relief

Pandemic and Epidemic Lesson Plans –

Pandemic Panic Lesson Plan – New York Times Learning Network

Best Instructional Videos: Pandemics Through the Years – Education World


Lesson Plans regarding Media & News Literacy (general):

Media Literacy Resources – Newseum

News & Media Literacy Lessons – Common Sense

Media Misinformation, Viral Deception, and «Fake News» – University of Wyoming

Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News – New York Times Lessons