PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One year after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Oregon, Governor Kate Brown delivered her annual State of the State speech.
Brown reflected on a challenging year of the pandemic, lockdowns, protests and wildfires during the pre-recorded speech released on Thursday.
“Oregonians are still faring better than most of the country,” Brown said about the COVID case rate. “Today Oregon has one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the country, and our daily case counts are among the lowest in the nation.”
Brown referred to the fight against the coronavirus as a marathon and we can “see the finish the line.” More than 1,800 Oregonians have died so far. Brown said the Oregon Health Authority is now administering at least 12,000 vaccinations a day.
“Because we were cautious, because we listened to experts, because we wore masks and limited our gatherings, because we enforced health and safety rules in businesses, we as Oregonians will finish this marathon, and we will finish strong,” she said.
The governor pledged money to continue to combat the economic fallout from the pandemic and thanked “every Oregonian, business, local official who sacrificed.” She addressed plans to return to in-person education.
Brown also pledged funding to address racial inequality and to prevent and buy more equipment to fight wildfires like those that destroyed whole communities in 2020.
Thursday also marked the official start of Oregon’s 6-month legislative session. Lawmakers delayed the session by a couple of days in light of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and at the Oregon State Capitol on December 21.
The Capitol remains closed to the public. Senate and House meetings, as well as public hearings, are being held virtually. Lawmakers will still handle thousands of bills throughout the session, which will last into June.