WA, OR leaders announce sweeping protective measures

Coronavirus

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Wednesday, the governors of Oregon and Washington announced serious measures in the fight against the coronavirus.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s new measures are meant to curb financial hardship for thousands of Washington residents. First on his list: a temporary ban on evictions. For the next 30 days. landlords are banned from kicking out tenants who don’t pay rent.

Quick help is also on the way for the thousands of people in Washington who’ve been laid off from their jobs. Inslee announced the state is “waiving the one week time period before you can get access to unemployment insurance.”

The governor also called on utility companies to keep electricity on for people who aren’t able to pay their bills.

“We know that we are headed for some really choppy economic waters,” Inslee said. “I think of what my dad used to tell me, and that was, ‘When you’re going through hell, keep going.'”

Full list of Washington measures announced March 18

Meanwhile, in Oregon, the Legislature’s Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response met to discuss the special legislative session they called for on Monday. Lawmakers said a special session is paramount to solving the economic problems that lie ahead.

Full meeting agenda

Gov. Kate Brown also issued new directives to help protect healthcare workers, ordering all Oregon hospitals, outpatient clinics and health care providers — including veterinarians and dentists — to stop all procedures that are not an emergency.

The order aims to preserve surgical masks, gowns and gloves for health care workers on the front lines dealing with COVID-19 patients.

Brown’s order also limits hospital visitations.

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