Office of the Governor
State of Oregon



ORS 401.165 et seq. empowers the Governor to declare a state of emergency upon determining that an emergency has occurred or is imminent. Pursuant to that authority, I find that the novel infectious coronavirus has created a threat to public health and safety, and constitutes a statewide emergency under ORS 401.025(1). 

The novel coronavirus causes an illness known as COVID-19. Coronavirus are a group of viruses that can cause respiratory disease, with the potential to cause serious illness or loss of life. 

As of March 8, 2020, there are 14 presumptive or confirmed coronavirus cases in Oregon, 430 cases in the United States, and 101,927 cases worldwide, in a total of 94 countries. In the United States there have been 19 deaths, and worldwide• there have been 3,486 deaths. On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern." On January 31, 2020, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency for the United States. Two counties in Oregon and several states also have declared states of emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including California and Washington. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 presents a "high" potential public health threat, both globally and in the United States. It spreads person-to-person through coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, or touching an object or surface with the virus on it, and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. The symptoms are fever, cough and difficulty breathing. 

On January 21, 2020, the Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division activated its incident management team to prepare for and respond to COVID-19. On February 28, 2020, the Governor announced the convening of a Coronavirus Response Team tasked with coordinating state and local agencies and health authorities in preparation for response to COVID-19. On March 2, 2020, the Governor activated the State Emergency Coordination Center. 

In order to ensure the state is fully prepared for COVID-19 and that state and local authorities have the resources needed to respond to COVID-19, a declaration of emergency is necessary. 


1. The Oregon Health Authority and the state Public Health Director shall take all actions necessary and authorized under ORS 401.651 to 401.670, ORS 433.443, and ORS 431A.015 to respond to, control, mitigate, and recover from the emergency, including but not limited to:

(a) Deploying emergency volunteer health care professionals under ORS 401.661;

(b) Designating emergency health care centers under ORS 401.657;

(c) After consultation with appropriate medical experts, creating and requiring the use of diagnostic and treatment guidelines and providing notice of those guidelines to health care providers, institutions and facilities;

(d) Issuing guidelines for private businesses regarding appropriate work restrictions, if necessary.

2. If needed, I will request assistance through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact under ORS 402.105 and the Pacific Northwest Management Assistance Arrangement under ORS 402.250.

3. The Office of Emergency Management shall, in consultation with the Director of the Oregon Health Authority and state Public Health Director, if necessary, take any action authorized under ORS 433.441. All agencies identified as part of the Governor's Coronavirus Response Team are directed to provide liaisons for the State Emergency Coordination Center. All state government agencies shall utilize and employ state personnel, equipment, and facilities for any and all activities as requested and coordinated by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. All citizens are to heed the advice of emergency officials with regard to this outbreak in order to protect their health and safety.

4. As necessary to respond to the emergency, I authorize all executive agencies of state government to take, upon further direction from me or my office, any actions authorized under the provisions set forth in ORS 401.168 through 401.192.

5. State agencies shall develop and​ implement procedures, including waiving rules or adopting temporary rules within the agency's authority, consistent with recommendations from the state Public Health Director, designed to prevent or alleviate the public health threat.

6. This declaration serves as a public health emergency for purposes of ORS 653.616, which permits employees to use sick time as specified in ORS 653.616(6).

7. Persons who believe that they have been subjected to excessive prices for essential consumer goods associated with the coronavirus outbreak are encouraged to report that conduct to the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection hotline, at 1-877-877-9392.

This state of emergency shall exist for sixty days from the date of this Executive Order, unless extended or terminated earlier by the Governor. These findings and this order were initially made by verbal proclamation at 8: 14 p.m. on the 7th day of March, 2020, and confirmed in writing by this Executive Order on this 8th day of March, 2020. 
Done at Portland, Oregon this 8th day of March, 2020. 

Done at Portland, Oregon this 8th day of March, 2020. 

Kate Brown


Bev Clarno