SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has extended the COVID-19 state of emergency for 60 days.
She said as of Tuesday there have been over 8,600 coronavirus cases in the state, with over a quarter of those cases identified in the past two weeks. The Oregon Health Authority said Tuesday that 207 people in Oregon have died from the disease.
“In the months since those first cases were discovered, we have shored up our supplies of personal protective equipment, worked with counties to hire contact tracers, and––despite the failures of the federal government to supply Oregon with an equitable amount of testing materials––we have expanded our statewide testing capability," she said. “And, thanks to the tremendous sacrifices Oregonians made by staying home in the spring, we prevented 1,500 hospitalizations and over 70,000 COVID-19 infections.”
She said the choices made by individual Oregonians will decide whether Oregon flattens the curve of new infections or sees a spike that could overwhelm hospital capacity in the next month.
“We have a chance, now, before the Fourth of July weekend, to make sure that Oregon’s COVID-19 numbers don’t follow the same skyrocketing trajectory of states like Texas or Florida or Arizona,” she said.
The state of emergency declaration is the legal underpinning for the executive orders Brown has issued throughout the pandemic, including her orders on reopening Oregon, as well as orders related to childcare, schools, and higher education operations. Extending the state of emergency declaration allows those orders to stay in effect.
She will review and reevaluate each of her emergency orders every 60 days. Brown said this extension will last through Sept. 4.
Brown on Monday also mandated face coverings for people throughout the state in indoor public spaces starting Wednesday.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.