Breaking News
More () »

Oregon's two-week freeze prevented surge in cases, Gov. Brown says

Brown asked all Oregonians to "rethink your Christmas and New Year's plans."
Credit: AP
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown attends a news conference Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (Cathy Cheney/Pool Photo via AP)

PORTLAND, Ore — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said there is evidence that the state's two-week freeze prevented a surge in COVID-19 cases and asked Oregonians to continue their preventative measures to stop the spread of the virus during news conference Tuesday morning.

“We didn’t see the spike in cases we feared, and as we saw following previous holidays,” Brown said. "While our case counts are still up, we are avoiding many worst-case scenarios."

Brown asked all Oregonians to "rethink your Christmas and New Year's plans."

The governor was joined at Tuesday’s news conference by Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Patrick Allen and OHA Public Health Division Director Rachael Banks. The three discussed Oregon's effort to vaccinate health workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

RELATED: VERIFY: COVID-19 vaccine Q&A as first doses are distributed

"Step by step we are making progress fighting this virus," Brown said.

Allen said Oregon's new COVID-19 cases dropped by 11% last week and more than 7,000 Oregonians have received their first dose of a vaccine.

The approval of a second vaccine, made by Moderna, will allow more Oregon hospitals, especially in rural areas, to receive doses because the Morderna vaccine does not require ultra-cold freezers for storage, Allen said.

RELATED: Rural Oregon hospitals receive first shipments of Moderna vaccine

Brown said she believes Oregon's educators and school staff members are essential workers, and should be included in "Phase 1B" of the state's vaccine rollout, saying it "will help ensure we are making learning environments as safe as possible."

The governor also thanked the Oregon Legislature for its efforts to help struggling families and businesses during a one-day special session on Monday.

State lawmakers passed several bills aimed at keeping Oregonians in their homes while helping landlords and businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. Their $800-million relief package includes a six-month extension of Oregon’s residential eviction moratorium and $150 million to pay landlords up to 80 percent of what they're owed by struggling renters.

“I am pleased that the legislature set aside $800 million that will allow the state to respond to the ongoing needs of the pandemic and wildfire response,” Brown said Monday night. “These funds are critical to protect Oregon families and small businesses. I am also glad they took up critical, COVID-19-related policy bills that will provide relief for tenants and landlords, extend the eviction moratorium, and create avenues to support restaurants and bars.”

Lawmakers also approved a bill allowing restaurants to start selling cocktails and single servings of wine to go.

Before You Leave, Check This Out