SALEM, OR (KPTV) - Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday extended a state of emergency declaration in Oregon until March 3, 2021.
The previous executive order regarding the COVID-19 pandemic was set to expire Jan. 2, 2021. The extension is for an additional 60 days from that time.
The declaration is the legal underpinning for the Governor’s COVID-19 executive orders and the Oregon Health Authority’s health and safety guidance, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
That includes the risk-based guidelines and closures for each county in Oregon.
It was announced this week that 29 counties would be under the extreme risk level, beginning Friday.
The risk levels determine what businesses and activities are closed, whether restaurants can serve customers indoors, as well as how many people can shop in stores, attend church services or gather socially with people from other households.
Under extreme risk, for example, restaurants are only allowed to provide outdoor dining, with a maximum capacity of 50 people. Under high and extreme risk, recommendations for social gatherings are to be limited to six people, and limited to two households.
There have been 1,283 deaths linked to the coronavirus in Oregon during the pandemic, and 98,936 cases. There have been more than 2.2 million negative tests statewide.
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The first COVID-19 vaccines were given to frontline health care workers in Oregon and southwest Washington on Wednesday.
“These are the darkest days of this pandemic. And yet, hope has arrived. Beginning 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. In the meantime, we must keep up our guard. Protect your friends and loved ones by continuing to follow health and safety protocols. Wear a face covering, avoid gatherings, stay home when you are sick––and, together, we can drive down COVID-19 infections and save lives,” Brown said in a written statement.