REMARKS AS PREPARED
Governor Kate Brown
Coronavirus Press Conference
March 24, 2020
Good morning everyone.
I’d like to kick off today with the public awareness campaign we’ve launched to coincide with the Executive Order I issued yesterday. We need to spread the word about coronavirus and its impact.
As members of the media, I know you understand the incredible importance of informing the public about COVID-19 — and I want to thank you for the vital work you are doing on this front.
We continue to explore ways to communicate with all Oregonians about coronavirus. I can’t underscore how important it is that people understand how serious this disease is, and how their actions have a real impact on saving lives and protecting one another.
This public awareness campaign is a coordinated effort with OHSU and OHA to get the word out about how people can stay safe, protect others, and what we can all do to help each other out as we navigate this new way of life.
We are developing content to share on social media channels every day, and sent out a press release yesterday afternoon with a link to these materials.
I encourage all Oregonians to share this content, and encourage your news organizations as well to join the effort. Thank you in advance for your partnership.
Moving to PPE, in good news, yesterday we received a truck delivery of equipment from the national stockpile, and we expect to receive another today.
We are still taking inventory but we believe this should amount to 25% of our requested PPE from the national stockpile. Yesterday’s shipment included 87,000 procedural masks, nearly 9,000 gowns and 14,000 gloves.
This is an issue my administration continues to prioritize.
One more update:
- The Oregon Medical Board has put into effect emergency rules aimed to increase access to health care during this critical time.
- That includes clearing the way for retired physicians and physician assistants to work in more than a volunteer capacity. There are about 800 retired providers in this category.
- Doctors working in a temporary capacity are now not limited to the 240 days a year under the temporary rule — opening up another potential 500 providers to help with this response.
- And doctors who have switched to administrative licenses only can more simply reactivate their licenses — which is about another 3,000 doctors.
- While we don’t expect all these providers to return to active practice, these changes to remove administrative barriers will definitely help.
And with that, I will open it up for questions.