Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday extended a long-standing state of emergency to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic while hinting that similar orders may not be necessary this summer.
Brown extended by 60 days her authority to issue restrictions on business operations, among other things. Fifteen counties with high coronavirus case rates will face the strictest of those limits beginning Friday, when in-person dining will be prohibited as part of an effort to slow Oregon’s fourth surge.
The extension, perfunctory in nature, came with a message of optimism as 42% of state residents are now at least partially vaccinated. Many businesses and politicians in counties affected by the latest restrictions have asked Brown to reconsider exercising her power authorized under the emergency order.
“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,” Brown said in a statement. “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.”
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