PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Governor Kate Brown has again extended her declaration of a state of emergency regarding COVID-19 for an additional 60 days, the governor's office announced on Tuesday.
This is the second time Gov. Brown has extended the state of emergency declaration. The governor first did so in June, just before the Fourth of July weekend and was scheduled to end on Sept. 4.
The decision to extend the state of emergency again was in part due to Labor Day weekend and students beginning a new school year, according to the governor.
“When I last extended the COVID-19 state of emergency in June, I told Oregonians that we were at a crossroads: we could work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, or we could watch infections and hospitalizations spike," Gov. Brown said. "Now, six months after this crisis began, we have made progress. Together, we have slowed the spread of this disease. Oregon has one of the lowest mortality rates in the country. But, as students across Oregon begin a school year far different than any other before, it is clear that, at current COVID-19 levels, it will not be safe in much of the state for children to return to in-classroom instruction for months to come."
“This Labor Day weekend is another critical moment in this crisis," continued Gov. Brown. "We can work together to stay safe and put Oregon on the path to return more students to classrooms. Or, we could see Labor Day celebrations unknowingly sow the seeds of COVID-19 outbreaks that could set us back for months. Until there is an effective vaccine for COVID-19, this disease can spread like wildfire if we let our guard down. Small social get-togethers like barbecues and family celebrations have fueled wider community outbreaks in counties across Oregon. This weekend, you have a choice. Please, stay local this Labor Day, and practice safe COVID-19 habits. Wear a face covering, watch your physical distance, and wash your hands."
The state of emergency is now in place through Nov. 3.
Oregon Health Authority on Tuesday reported six additional deaths in Oregon due to COVID-19, raising the state’s death toll to 465. Health officials also reported 243 new confirmed and presumptive cases of coronavirus, bringing the state total 26,946.
The state of emergency declaration is the legal underpinning for the executive orders the governor has issued in connection with COVID-19, including her orders on reopening Oregon while maintaining essential protections and orders around childcare, schools, and higher education operations. Extending the state of emergency declaration allows those orders to stay in effect, the governor's office said.
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