MEDFORD, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown on Thursday extended Oregon's state of emergency until the end of June, but said that she intends to see the state's economy reopened by that point.
All of the executive orders currently mandating COVID-19 measures hinge on the statewide emergency declaration. In addition to the restrictions that have greatly reduced capacity at may businesses and shuttered indoor dining in many counties, it provides state agencies with additional freedom to relax some existing rules. Governor Brown cited the decision to allow bars and restaurants to offer cocktails to-go, and the expansion of who can administer a vaccine.
Emergency declarations of this kind last 60 days, and this one runs until June 28 unless rescinded earlier or extended again. Brown last issued an extension at the end of February, stretching into early May.
In a statement, Brown said that she intends to fully reopen the state "by the end of June," when the renewed emergency declaration expires:
“At this time last year, there was so much we did not know about how to stop the spread of this deadly disease. Now, more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregonians know the best ways to avoid spreading infection: limiting gatherings when cases are high, wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance, staying home when sick, and––most importantly––getting vaccinated as soon as possible. We just have to hold on for a few weeks longer.
“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 this deadly disease.
"But the overwhelming majority of our new COVID-19 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. 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.
“Today, I am lifting Oregon’s executive order for price gouging related to the pandemic, because the days of hand sanitizer and, yes, toilet paper scarcity are far behind us. In the weeks to come, as the number of fully vaccinated Oregonians continues to grow, we will be able to lift the emergency orders and state regulations that have kept us safe for the past year.”