Coronavirus updates: North St. Bags making PPE, OBRA benefit jersey, Sarah’s latest plan

North St. Bags owner Curtis Williams models his latest creations.
(Photo: North St. Bags)

As Portland settles into life during a public health crisis, local businesses, organizations, and community leaders continue to step up and adapt.

Here’s a roundup of local coronavirus-related news…

North St. Bags Makes the Switch

Portland-based bag maker North St. Bags has joined the list of local companies making personal protective equipment. The company has suspended production of its popular backpacks and panniers to help protect frontline medical workers.

North St. owner Curtis Williams said, “We wanted to be able to put our expertise to use and help the situation, and we think this is the best way to do that.”

Face shields and surgical masks are already shipping out to hospitals and government agencies. Most are being sold, but North St. also has a donation program where people can “buy” a mask via their online store to help cover their production costs and allow the company to donate some items.

North St. also has a cotton face mask intended for the general public. Those are available for pre-order ($19.99) and will begin shipping later this month.

Mayoral Candidate’s Plan Addresses Mobility

(Graphic: Sarah 2020)

Portland Mayoral Candidate Sarah Iannarone released her Recovery and Resiliency Plan this week that outlines a broad array of actions she wants to take to help manage the short and long-term impacts of the coronavirus crisis.

Among the many policy details are ways she’d address street and transportation issues. Iannarone says she wants Portland to not only survive the current “chaos,” but, “to carve out a better future in a period of intense transformation.” Part of that transformation would happen in our streets if she is elected mayor.


Her proposals include: “Expanded access to “Low Impact Transportation (LIT)” (her catch-all term that includes bicycles); universal access to fareless transit; e-bike ownership incentive programs for low-income and households of Color; intensify investments in bicycle and LIT lanes, and low-income LIT subsidies (e-scooter, e-bike, cargobike and bikeshare programs) across the city.” She would also establish “zero emission ‘Thrive Zones'” and “pedestrian streets”. Read her resiliency plan here.

Castelli Partners with OBRA on Benefit Jersey

Women’s jersey shown. (Also available in a men’s cut.)

With the 2020 race season still on hold and no racing expected until June 1st at the earliest, the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) is losing critical race fee and license revenue. To help offset this financial hit, the nonprofit has teamed up with Castelli Cycling (an Italian company with U.S. headquarters in Portland) to offer a limited edition benefit jersey.

The $99 “Domestique Jersey” was designed by Castelli and 100% of the sale proceeds will go to OBRA. “This will help us continue to foster the growth of cycling and bike racing across the state of Oregon and beyond,” the organization says.

Men’s and women’s cuts are available in the Castelli online store and sales run through April 19th.


If your business has Covid-19 related news, please get in touch so we can keep the community informed. See all our coronavirus coverage here.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and
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Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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