PORTLAND, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown today announced an extension of Oregon’s statewide school closure to a total of six weeks, until April 28, and also issued further guidance for Oregon’s public schools.
This order now dramatically extends an initial two-week closure of Oregon's schools that was set to end on March 31, after the usual Spring Break.
The orders, outlined in Executive Order 20-08, are as follows:
- Schools are to remain closed through Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
- Districts are to provide learning supports and supplemental services to students and families during the closure period, including meals and child care. This includes the delivery of food assistance and offering child care for essential health care professionals and first responders.
- School districts may call on public school educators and employees to deliver limited learning and support services.
- Each district will pay all their regular employees during the closure.
- The Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Health Authority, and Department of Human Services are directed to support public schools in the continuity of mental health services.
“I do not take the decision to extend school closures lightly,” said Governor Brown. “This will have real impacts on Oregon’s students, parents, and educators. But we must act now to flatten the curve and slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission in Oregon, otherwise we face a higher strain on our medical system and greater loss of life to this disease.”
Earlier on Tuesday, state officials announced that child care benefits through the state have been extended to a wider range of Oregon working families, clarifying that daycare centers remain unaffected by the shutdowns to schools and other businesses.
Governor Kate Brown today also signed the following executive orders that she announced yesterday:
- Executive Order 20-07: Prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink and gatherings of more than 25 people
- Executive Order 20-06: Declaration of Abnormal Disruption of the Market Due to COVID-19
Brown's order on Monday effectively barred restaurants from allowing dine-in service, reducing them to take-out, delivery, or closing down for at least four weeks. The decision has set southern Oregon businesses scrambling to determine what they will do to make ends meet in the meantime.
All three executive orders take effect immediately, Brown's office said. A complete list of Governor's executive orders to date can be found here.