Brown extends State of Emergency amid COVID surge


Brown reevaluates emergency orders every 60 days

A COVID-19 vaccine administered during the testing phase, 2020 (Nexstar, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As Oregon sees a surge in coronavirus cases, Governor Kate Brown has extended the State of Emergency for another 60 days.

The order will be in effect until June 28, 2021, unless Gov. Brown rescinds the declaration early or decides to extend it once again. The State of Emergency gives Oregon access to more federal COVID-19 relief and assistance — including assistance with vaccine distribution.

According to a release from her office, the “declaration is the legal underpinning for the Governor’s COVID-19 executive orders and the Oregon Health Authority’s health and safety guidance; it also provides additional flexibility for the state and private parties responding to the challenges of the pandemic, from allowing restaurants to offer cocktails to go to allowing greater flexibility in who may administer vaccines.”

Brown also announced she is lifting the price gouging order because the days of hand sanitizer and toilet paper scarcity are behind us.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have nearly doubled to more than 300 in the last two weeks. The increase in cases led Brown to move 15 Oregon counties back into the Extreme Risk category, which takes effect this Friday.

“We just have to hold on for a few weeks longer,” Brown said in a press release. “I intend to fully reopen our economy by the end of June, and the day is approaching when my emergency orders can eventually be lifted. How quickly we get there is up to each and every one of us doing our part.”

Over 1.7 million Oregonians have received at least one dose of vaccine, and over 1.2 million are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, the governor’s office says the overwhelming majority of new cases are from people who have not yet been vaccinated.

“Younger, unvaccinated Oregonians are now showing up in our hospitals with severe cases of COVID-19,” Brown said. “Right now, more than ever, as we see the path over the peak of the spring surge and down the other side, we need Oregonians to step up and take on the personal responsibility to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are the best way to protect yourself, your friends, and your loved ones. They are also the quickest path toward lifting restrictions.”

Brown reevaluates emergency orders every 60 days.

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