The Oregon Employment Department said Thursday it received 53,800 initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week of April 5 in addition to the 243,000 initial claims filed in the last three weeks.

The department began its first CARES Act payments April 10, adding an extra $600 per week to unemployment benefits.

From the week of April 5 to April 11, the department said it paid out $97 million in benefits to Oregonians.

The department said it’s still working on programming the unemployment benefits system for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. That program will allow self-employed, contract and gig workers to receive unemployment benefits that they are currently not eligible for.

OHA reports new COVID-19-related deaths

Oregon state and local health officials reported 33 new known coronavirus cases Wednesday.

There are now 1,663 confirmed cases in Oregon. Oregon officials also reported three new coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday.

There have been 58 known coronavirus-related deaths in the state.

The Oregon Health Authority reported the three deaths as:

An 82-year-old man in Marion County, who tested positive on April 3 and died on April 10 at Santiam Hospital. He had underlying medical conditions.

An 84-year-old woman in Multnomah County, who tested positive on March 30 and died on April 12 at Adventist Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.

A 92-year-old woman in Multnomah County, who tested positive on April 9 and died on April 12 at her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.

Washington has more than 500 deaths

Clark County Public Health said Wednesday that there are eight new confirmed cases of coronavirus in Southwest Washington. There are now 258 confirmed cases there. To date, 15 people in Clark County have died.

The latest available data from the Washington Department of Health indicated the state had reported 10,783 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus and 567 related deaths.

*By OPB STAFF via KLCC.org*