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Nov. 29, 2020

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Oregon governor extends state of emergency as virus cases increase

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SALEM, Ore. — Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday extended Oregon’s declaration of a state of emergency until Jan. 2 as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to rise.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 391 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the state total to 42,808. There were nine additional deaths, increasing the death toll to 664.

“Extending the COVID-19 state of emergency is not something I do lightly, but we know all too well that not taking action would mean an even greater loss of life,” Brown said. “The second wave of COVID-19 has arrived in the United States, and this time it is hitting all of our communities.”

The declaration is the legal underpinning for the executive orders the governor has issued, including her orders surrounding reopening Oregon, childcare, schools and higher education operations. Extending the state of emergency declaration allows those orders to stay in effect.

The governor reviews and reevaluates each of her emergency orders every 60 days.

“My goal is to keep Oregon on track to open more schools for in-person instruction for our students — and to continue to reopen, and keep open, our businesses, communities, and economies,” Brown said. “Oregon is not an island. Without safety precautions in place, we could quickly see our case counts spike as well.”

During October, Oregon has reached grim COVID-19 milestones including surpassing 600 deaths and reaching 40,000 confirmed cases.

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