(KPTV) - Governor Kate Brown announced Thursday that she is once again extending the state of emergency declaration in Oregon.
The state of emergency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic was set to expire this Sunday, May 2. The new extension is for an additional 60 days, until June 28.
The extension of the executive order comes almost a week after Brown said Oregon was experiencing a “fourth surge” of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations were nearing 300 patients statewide.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 888 new cases on Wednesday. OHA also reported that 326 people were hospitalized with COVID-19. Sixty-four of those patients were in intensive care unit (ICU) beds.
On Tuesday, Brown announced 15 counties would move back to extreme risk due to the surge. Nine counties will be in high risk, four in moderate risk, and eight in lower risk. Those risk levels become effective on Friday.
Brown issued the following statement after extending the state of emergency:
“We are in the middle of the fourth surge of COVID-19 in Oregon, driven by more contagious variants of the disease. We must stop hospitalizations from spiking, so we can save lives, help our nurses and doctors weather this surge, and ensure no Oregonian is denied vital health care. Tomorrow, 15 counties are moving to the Extreme Risk Level, with nine more in High Risk. Hospitalizations nearly doubled in the last two weeks, to well over 300.
“At this time last year, there was so much we did not know about how to stop the spread of this deadly disease. Now, more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregonians know the best ways to avoid spreading infection: limiting gatherings when cases are high, wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance, staying home when sick, and––most importantly––getting vaccinated as soon as possible. We just have to hold on for a few weeks longer.
“I intend to fully reopen our economy by the end of June, and the day is approaching when my emergency orders can eventually be lifted. How quickly we get there is up to each and every one of us doing our part. Over 1.7 million Oregonians have received at least one dose of vaccine, and over 1.2 million are fully vaccinated against this deadly disease.
"But the overwhelming majority of our new COVID-19 cases are from people who have not yet been vaccinated. Younger, unvaccinated Oregonians are now showing up in our hospitals with severe cases of COVID-19. Right now, more than ever, as we see the path over the peak of the spring surge and down the other side, we need Oregonians to step up and take on the personal responsibility to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are the best way to protect yourself, your friends, and your loved ones. They are also the quickest path toward lifting restrictions."
Brown also announced Thursday that she is lifting the executive order for price gouging related to the pandemic.
"In the weeks to come, as the number of fully vaccinated Oregonians continues to grow, we will be able to lift the emergency orders and state regulations that have kept us safe for the past year," Brown said.
There have been 2,490 deaths and 182,916 cases linked to the coronavirus in Oregon since the start of the pandemic. There have been more than 4.3 million negative tests statewide.
Oregon has now administered a total of 1,543,640 first and second doses of Pfizer, 1,257,015 first and second doses of Moderna and 93,001 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.