PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown has extended Oregon’s declaration of a state of emergency, as health officials prepare for an expected surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the coming weeks.
“As Oregon prepares for what could be our worst surge in hospitalizations during this pandemic, I know that this is not the beginning of the new year any of us had hoped for,” Brown said. “Time and again over the last two years, Oregonians have proven that we will stand with each other in our most difficult times. Your actions have saved lives, and it is because we have worked together to keep each other safe that Oregon still has some of the lowest infection and mortality rates in the nation.
“Please, do your part again––get vaccinated, get your booster shot, and wear a mask.”
The emergency declaration is the legal underpinning for the executive orders that the governor has issued throughout the pandemic, including orders surrounding reopening Oregon, vaccine mandates, childcare, liability protections for schools and higher education operations.
Last Friday during a news conference, local scientists predicted that the state is about three weeks away from a new wave of hospitalizations that could surpass the peak by two or three times.
The Oregon Health Authority reported the state’s first three omicron cases last week.