PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Social service agencies that provide basic needs for those who need it should remain open, Gov. Kate Brown said in a release late Friday morning.
However, those agencies should practice social distancing and encourage those they help to do the same. Brown also said homeless people aren’t subject to her stay-at-home order “simply due to the fact that they are in public and unable to stay at home.”
Brown issued the clarification to her “Stay Home, Save Lives” order from earlier this week.
“My top priority is to keep Oregonians safe and healthy, whether they are living sheltered or unsheltered as we focus on stopping the spread of COVID-19,” she said in a statement. “That is why my executive order directs Oregonians to stay home whenever possible and prohibits social and recreational gatherings. I know that in practice this may look different for each Oregonian, but the spirit of the order is clear: limit your social circles to your utmost ability.”
She also noted her order was not intended “to serve as an enforcement mechanism against Oregon’s unsheltered population,” and she urged local officals to follow the order’s intention.
Throughout the state, emergency options are being identified for shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials are also looking into rent assistance, eviction moratoriums and avoiding foreclosures.
On Monday, Brown said she wrote the order after speaking with governors around the country.
“We’re being more prescriptive than a lot of other states because we wanted people to have clarity,” she said that day. “The reality is that governors all over the nation are wrestling with how to do this. We were able to learn from other states and watch the confusion that happened.”
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