PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Friday announced that the state will reopen by no later than Wednesday, June 30.
Brown’s new executive order will lift all state COVID-19 health and safety restrictions -- including the statewide mask mandate, physical distancing requirements and capacity limits -- when Oregon reaches a 70% first-dose vaccination rate for adults, or by June 30, whichever comes sooner.
“I’m proud of our collective efforts to vaccinate more than 2.3 million Oregonians. It is because of this success that we can move Oregon forward and into the next chapter of this pandemic. We are ready,” said Brown.
Brown said with restrictions lifted, Oregon will focus on helping residents and communities recover from the impacts of the global pandemic.
“We should all take pride in the work we have done to bring us to this moment,” Brown said. “The efforts underway to close our vaccine equity gap and reach every Oregonian with information and a vaccine have definitely helped bring us this far. Thank you to all who are going the extra mile to vaccinate Oregonians.”
Under the new recovery order, masks will no longer be required statewide but they will still be required in some places under federal guidance, including airports, public transportation and health care settings.
The governor's office said the order will effectively rescind her previous executive orders that authorized restrictions on businesses, schools and other sectors. It also extends the emergency declaration for the pandemic to provide resources for vaccination efforts, Oregon access to FEMA, enhanced SNAP benefits and other federal aid, to allow the continued operation of certain emergency child care providers through the summer, unemployment insurance claim processing and more.
Brown's emergency authority will be focused on COVID-19 recovery efforts.
The governor’s office said K-12 schools, higher education and childcare will shift to “a more traditional, local decision-making model” for communities. The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will be issuing updated guidance for the 2021-22 school year in order to ensure a return to full-time, in-person instruction this fall.
“Brighter days are ahead," Brown said. "And, we are more determined than ever to make sure we ground our state in a strong recovery that reaches every single Oregonian as we turn a page on this chapter of the pandemic. Our work is not done, but we can all take a moment to celebrate that by next week, we will be moving forward together.”
When asked why she picked June 30 to reopen, Brown said, "Obviously businesses and venues need certainty in terms of reopening and when we will fully reopen. And at this point in time, we’ve vaccinated over 2.3 million Oregonians, nearly 7 out of 10. And we obviously will be moving in alignment with Washington.”
Brown’s recovery order will remain in effect until December 31, 2021.