Governor Brown issues executive order to Oregonians: 'Stay home, save lives'

In a statement, Gov. Brown's office outlined a stay-at-home order for Oregonians during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Posted: Mar 23, 2020 10:48 AM
Updated: Mar 23, 2020 6:13 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown has issued a new executive order, directing Oregonians to "stay at home to the maximum extent possible" and adding to the list of businesses that will be temporarily closed to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon.

The order is effective immediately, and remains in effect until ended by the Governor, Brown's office said.


RELATED: California Gov. Newsom issues a stay-at-home order


Brown said the following in a statement issued Monday morning:

“We are learning more about this virus and how people react to it every day. Not just from a medical standpoint, but from a social and behavioral standpoint.

“I started by asking Oregonians to stay home and practice social distancing. Then I urged the public to follow these recommendations. Instead, thousands crowded the beaches of our coastal communities, our trails, our parks, and our city streets, potentially spreading COVID-19 and endangering the lives of others across the state. Now, I’m ordering it. To save lives and protect our community.

“Today, I am issuing a new executive order further requiring social distancing measures because we know this is the most effective way to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus. I hope everyone in Oregon abides by its core message: stay home unless absolutely necessary.

“Staying home both keeps you safe from infection, and ensures you do not unknowingly infect others.

“We’ve already put a number of measures forward specifically aimed at increasing hospital capacity, such as cutting down on non-emergency care so we conserve masks, gloves, and gowns to save the lives of the health care workers who are working so hard to save others. All of these things add up, and by slowing the infection rate, we preserve hospital beds so that there will be one available if and when you need it.

“None of us have ever been through this before, and that means there is no way to know exactly what lies ahead. We don’t know yet when this outbreak will end, or what changes this will bring for our state and for our country. But I want to make sure that we’ve done all we can to end it as quickly as possible.”


About the order:

  • All non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals are prohibited immediately, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained. Gatherings of members of the same residential household are permitted.
  • It closes and prohibits shopping at specific categories of retail businesses, for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as arcades, barber shops, hair salons, gyms and fitness studios, skating rinks, theaters, and yoga studios.
  • It requires businesses not closed by the order to implement social distancing policies in order to remain open, and requires workplaces to implement teleworking and work-at-home options when possible.
  • It directs Oregonians to stay home whenever possible, while permitting activities outside the home when social distance is maintained.
  • It closes playgrounds, sports courts, and skate parks, among other types of outdoor recreation facilities. Those that remain open are required to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • It outlines new guidelines for child care facilities, setting limits and rules on amounts of children allowed in care, and outlining that child care groups may not change participants.
  • Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health and subject to a Class C misdemeanor.

"Following this order will save lives, while still allowing businesses to function if they can protect employees and customers through social distancing. While many businesses and organizations that are heavily dependent on foot traffic and in-person interactions have already closed or will close under the expanded order, other businesses that make robust plans to meet social distancing requirements — and enforce those requirements — may remain in operation, preserving jobs while ensuring health.

"This distinction from closing all businesses except for those categorized as essential as mandated in other states, aims to minimize unintended consequences and add clarity for businesses who can adjust their business models to accommodate vital social distancing measures," Brown's office said.


RELATED: Many local restaurants still offering take-out or delivery after Governor forbids dine-in


“This order is designed to flatten the curve over the coming weeks, preserving scarce hospital space and equipment. It will also ensure that any place of business that remains operational does its part to enforce social distancing rules,” said Governor Brown. “It is designed to be more sustainable over time, to allow Oregonians to keep their jobs when their work does not add to the growth of COVID-19 in Oregon.”


Retail businesses closed by Executive Order 20-12 include:

  • Shopping: Outdoor and indoor malls and retail complexes, although individual types of businesses not subject to the measures may stay open.
  • Fitness: Gyms, sports and fitness centers, health clubs, and exercise studios
  • Grooming: Barbershops, beauty and nail salons, and non-medical wellness spas
  • Entertainment: Theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys, and pool halls

Other retail businesses will not be able to continue to operate unless they can implement strict social distancing measures and designate an employee or officer charged with ensuring compliance. Retail businesses able to adapt to take-out style shopping experiences can also remain open.


RELATED: Banks close lobby doors to customers in wake of pandemic


If businesses can have employees work from home, then they must do so. Many of the businesses outlined in the order have voluntarily closed their doors already, to do their part to protect Oregon’s communities. In addition, non-retail businesses like manufacturers and the construction industry must ensure that their employees are maintaining social distancing measures.

In addition to businesses, Executive Order 20-12 also orders state executive branch offices and buildings to close to the public and provide public services by phone to the extent possible. When public services require in-person interactions, the order requires social distancing measures to be implemented and enforced.

State agencies must also facilitate telework and work-at-home for state employees whenever possible. While the order does not apply to local, federal, or tribal governments, those governments are strongly encouraged to follow these directives.

The order also directs state agencies to close parks and other outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained ––expanding on actions already taken by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

More information on the executive order and other information on Oregon's coronavirus response can be found on the state's website, here.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314841

Reported Deaths: 3624
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51325643
Washington35086277
Marion32748396
Clackamas26680275
Lane24145248
Jackson21050257
Deschutes16703103
Umatilla12736125
Douglas10795188
Linn1051487
Josephine8685169
Yamhill752099
Klamath651892
Polk629171
Malheur485567
Benton463728
Coos420669
Columbia325439
Jefferson315347
Lincoln277930
Union274838
Wasco242339
Crook213639
Clatsop213225
Tillamook182023
Baker176123
Morrow168621
Curry167817
Hood River163435
Harney82319
Grant7848
Lake6988
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4651497

Reported Deaths: 68087
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144634825870
Riverside3583834802
San Diego3502674021
San Bernardino3475745507
Orange3150815355
Sacramento1507202105
Santa Clara1407321841
Kern1362881521
Fresno1361631889
Alameda1164051330
Ventura978991120
San Joaquin975341615
Contra Costa95858924
Stanislaus808921235
Tulare73111896
San Mateo52311607
San Francisco52008605
Monterey49485565
Solano44247312
Santa Barbara43189500
Sonoma39476378
Merced39446536
Placer36612364
Imperial34285755
Kings30179285
San Luis Obispo28351313
Madera21749263
Butte21379231
Shasta20763279
Santa Cruz20176211
Yolo19192239
Marin17127242
El Dorado16037127
Sutter13122153
Napa1228795
Yuba928061
Nevada850185
Humboldt831988
Tehama827784
San Benito709567
Mendocino691176
Lassen637927
Tuolumne616993
Lake605887
Amador493059
Glenn399030
Siskiyou391541
Calaveras342766
Del Norte339034
Colusa291018
Inyo166739
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa100712
Trinity72610
Modoc6278
Unassigned2120
Sierra1980
Alpine1000
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