Written by Sarah Klein, Associated Press / Report for America
Portland – The Oregon governor on Thursday extended the declaration of a state of emergency in Oregon until May 2 as confirmed COVID-19 cases decreased but Hundreds of new cases continue to be reported daily.
“Throughout the pandemic, Oregonians have made smart choices that have protected our families and loved ones,” Brown said. “Our infection and death rates have always been among the lowest in the country. For the first time, critical care units for COVID-19 are receiving fewer and fewer patients.”
On Thursday, the Oregon Health Authority reported 553 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total cases to 154,554. The state’s death toll was 2,204.
The agency’s weekly report on COVID-19, released on Wednesday, showed a sharp drop in daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the previous week.
The Health Authority reported a 35% decrease in cases and a 42% decrease in hospitalization.
The emergency declaration is the legal underpinning of executive orders issued by the governor, including her orders to reopen Oregon, childcare, schools and higher education operations. The extension of the declaration of a state of emergency permits these orders to remain in effect. The governor reviews and reassesses each of their emergency orders every 60 days.
Brown first announced the emergency declaration in March, when there were 14 known cases of COVID-19 in the state.
“With we vaccinating thousands of Oregonians daily and reopening more school buildings and businesses as safely as possible, now is not the time to abandon our guards. New more contagious variants of COVID-19 are circulating in the United States, including Several confirmed cases in Oregon. “
Republican Senators of Oregon He refused to attend the session on Thursday, And to challenge the ruler’s restrictions regarding COVID-19 and to deal with the reopening of schools, the launch of the vaccine, and the economic recovery.
In a statement issued by the Senate Republicans, lawmakers said, “Despite the reduced caseload, today you have extended your emergency declaration, putting pressure on Oregonians even more. The legislature cannot do its job to help Oregonians recover when people cannot. Return to work due to orders requiring small businesses to remain closed. “
As the number of cases improved, the governor announced that 16 provinces, including Marion County where the Capitol is located, will move to lower risk levels – allowing capacity for indoor dining and gyms to be increased. The new risk levels come into effect on Friday.
Five counties – Benton, Coos, Douglas, Jefferson and Josephine – remain at the “high risk” level, which prohibits indoor dining.
“For the second time in a row, we are seeing significant progress in stopping the spread of COVID-19 across Oregon and saving lives,” Brown said.
The Oregon Health Authority also reports that 22,841 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been added to the state’s vaccination registry.
A total of 881,206 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given to Oregon residents.
This week, vaccine eligibility opened for people 70 and older. Starting Monday, people aged 65 or over will be eligible to receive the vaccinations.