'Now is not the time to let up our guard'
SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday extended her declaration of a state of emergency for COVID-19 for another 60 days, until May 2.
The declaration is the legal underpinning for the Governor’s COVID-19 executive orders and the Oregon Health Authority’s health and safety guidance.
Brown said that extending the state of emergency also helps ensure Oregon is able to fully utilize available federal COVID-19 relief and assistance, including assistance with vaccine distribution.
“When I issued my first state of emergency declaration last March, there were 14 known cases of COVID-19 in Oregon,” Brown said. “Today, we have now seen more than 150,000 cases across the state, and, sadly, 2,194 deaths.
“Throughout the pandemic, Oregonians have made smart choices that have protected our families and loved ones, and saved thousands of lives. We helped our doctors, nurses, and health care workers from being overwhelmed last spring, and again during the winter surge. Our infection and mortality rates have consistently remained some of the lowest in the country. And, for the first time, COVID-19 critical care units are seeing fewer and fewer patients.
“As we vaccinate thousands of Oregonians each day and reopen more school buildings and businesses as safely as possible, now is not the time to let up our guard. New, more infectious COVID-19 variants are circulating in the United States, including several confirmed cases in Oregon. We will continue to keep each other safe in the months to come by following the same safety measures we have throughout the pandemic—wearing face coverings, staying home when sick, maintaining physical distance, and avoiding social gatherings.”
The governor reviews and reevaluates each of her emergency orders every 60 days, to determine whether those orders should be continued, modified, or rescinded. The findings of this review process are listed in the executive order.