Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has extended the state’s COVID-19 emergency order for 60 days. The governor’s order comes amid a surge of new cases and hospitalizations in Oregon.

The declaration provides flexibility for the state and private parties in responding to challenges of the pandemic. It also helps ensure that Oregon is able to utilize available federal COVID-19-related relief and assistance.

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The state of emergency will last until June 28 unless it is rescinded or further extended.

“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,” Brown said in a news release.

Governor Kate Brown wears an orange traffic safety vest and a mask that has the words "Get covered 2021" printed on it.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown at an April 9 mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Portland. On Thursday, the governor extended Oregon's pandemic emergency declaration.

Kristyna Wentz-Graff/ OPB

Beginning Friday, 15 counties will move into the state’s “extreme risk” category, with nine other counties considered to be High Risk.

“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,” Brown said in her press release.

“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,” she continued. “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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