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Gov. Brown: Process of opening Oregon should be cautious; state still in need of resources from feds

Brown issued a statement following President Trump’s announcement of guidelines for states, individuals and employers on how to ease restrictions.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she was pleased to see a science-based, data-driven approach from the federal government regarding easing restrictions on social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brown issued a statement following President Donald Trump’s announcement of guidelines for states, individuals and employers on how to ease restrictions in areas where COVID-19 cases are on the decline.

The guidelines distributed to governors were published under the headline “Opening Up America Again." They say states or regions should meet certain criteria before moving to a phased opening. For example, there needs to be a downward trajectory of documented COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period and a robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers.

Brown announced similar guidelines for Oregon earlier this week.

“We are all eager to begin the process of lifting restrictions, get back to work and return to a more normal life as quickly as possible,” Brown said. “Earlier this week, I introduced my framework for restarting public life and business in Oregon — and the plan to reopen America, put forth today by the White House, is similar in its criteria and prerequisites.”

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Trump has told the nation’s governors “you’re going to call your own shots” regarding social restrictions. On Monday, Trump falsely asserted that his “authority is total” to reopen states. He has since backed away from that claim after governors pointed out the Constitution does not grant the president that power.

Brown said she will ask state health officials to analyze the government’s guidelines and “supplement Oregon’s framework as appropriate to make sure we are moving forward in the safest and quickest way possible.”

“In Oregon, we flattened the curve of our outbreak because we issued aggressive social distancing measures early. And because of the sacrifices Oregonians have made, we are now in a position where we can begin planning to reopen again, following science and data,” Brown said.

Brown said the best path to reopening Oregon is a cautious one that proceeds slowly, but Oregon is still in need of critical resources such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and more tests.

“We have current, large unfulfilled order requests with the federal government for both PPE and testing materials; these are vital components to reopening Oregon and remain necessary to prevent a resurgence of the disease,” said Brown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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