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Politics & Government

Oregon’s governor extends COVID emergency by 6 months

Kate Brown w mask OPB.jfif
Kristyna Wentz-Graff
Gov. Kate Brown tours a drive-thru mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Portland International Airport, April 9, 2021. The clinic is a joint operation hosted by Oregon Health & Science University, the Port of Portland and the American Red Cross.

Gov. Kate Brown has extended Oregon’s state of emergency related to COVID-19 by another six months, citing the arrival of the omicron variant and the potential for a surge in infections and hospitalizations.

The emergency decree is now in effect through June 30, 2022, unless Brown terminates it sooner, or extends it further.

“I know that this is not the beginning of the new year any of us had hoped for,” Brown said in a statement, in which she also urged Oregonians to get vaccinated, seek out booster shots and wear masks when in public.

First announced in March 2020, the emergency declaration has been prolonged repeatedly, as the state continues to grapple with the coronavirus. Brown said the latest extension through June is necessary to help Oregon access federal aid. It also allows the state to enlist the help of volunteer health care workers.

Many ongoing regulations, like a statewide mask mandate, are not currently part of the emergency order. They’ve instead been issued as public health rules.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting