Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Thursday extended her declaration of a state of emergency due to Covid-19 through the beginning of March 2021.
The emergency declaration — which is the legal basis for the various executive orders she has set forth since March, curtailing everything from schools to restaurants — was set to expire on Jan. 2.
Brown extended it an additional 60 days, making it effective through March 3, 2021.
The governor said the decision was made as new cases and deaths related to the novel coronavirus continue to surge across the state.
“As we near 100,000 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon, and with hospitals and health care workers stretched to their limits, there is no doubt that Covid-19 continues to pose a public health threat,” she said. “We continue to lose too many Oregonians to this deadly disease, including over 100 reported deaths in the last two days.”
The extension comes as Oregon counties — including Clackamas — grapple with strict restrictions on restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues and other businesses related to a framework based on the risk of exposure to Covid-19.
Effective Dec. 18 through Dec. 31, Clackamas and 28 other counties will be in the extreme risk level, one county at moderate risk, and six counties at lower risk, according to the governor’s office.
“These are the darkest days of this pandemic,” Brown said, and yet, hope has arrived, in the form of safe, effective vaccines that have begun being administered to front-line health care workers in Oregon this week.
“Each time another Oregonian is vaccinated against COVID-19, we are one step closer to the day when we can return to normal life,” the governor said. “In the meantime, we must keep up our guard. Protect your friends and loved ones by continuing to follow health and safety protocols. … Together, we can drive down Covid-19 infections and save lives.”
See below for a press conference from Brown and health care officials around the state this week, discussing the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine.
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