Brown issues 'stay at home' order, effective immediately

Governor Kate Brown ordered Oregonians to stay at home or face the penalty of a misdemeanor.

Posted: Mar 23, 2020 10:53 AM
Updated: Mar 23, 2020 6:46 PM

SALEM, Ore. – In an executive order issued Monday, Governor Kate Brown ordered Oregonians to stay at home or face the penalty of a misdemeanor.

The order is not a lockdown but encourages every Oregonian to stay home unless you have to go to work, get groceries, or walk the dog. Brown said to continue to practice aggressive social distancing when you are out and about.

Those who do not comply with the order could face a misdemeanor charge.

On Friday, Brown joined Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and other leaders for a press conference and hinted an order was forthcoming. At the time, the governor urged residents to “Stay Home and Stay Healthy.”

Lane County, Eugene, Springfield and other municipalities across Oregon later authored letters encouraging the governor to issue a "stay at home" order over the weekend. Leaders argued any such order should be done at a statewide level to avoid a “checkerboard implementation” of policy.

The order also closes a number of businesses previously unaffected by prior executive orders, including barber shops and tattoo parlors. The order remains in effect until ended by the governor.

Below are details of the order:

  • All non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals are prohibited immediately, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained. Gatherings of members of the same residential household are permitted.
  • It closes and prohibits shopping at specific categories of retail businesses, for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as arcades, barber shops, hair salons, gyms and fitness studios, skating rinks, theaters, and yoga studios.
  • It requires businesses not closed by the order to implement social distancing policies in order to remain open, and requires workplaces to implement teleworking and work-at-home options when possible.
  • It directs Oregonians to stay home whenever possible, while permitting activities outside the home when social distance is maintained.
  • It closes playgrounds, sports courts, and skate parks, among other types of outdoor recreation facilities. Those that remain open are required to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • It outlines new guidelines for child care facilities, setting limits and rules on amounts of children allowed in care, and outlining that child care groups may not change participants.
  • Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health and subject to a Class C misdemeanor.

Local public health officials said going outdoors is still allowed, but they advise against traveling.

"The key here really is not travelling to go outdoors," said Jason Davis with Lane County Public Health. "Trying to use the outdoor spaces that are in the immediate vicinity of your residence is going to be key."

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