Governor issues stay-at-home order

Parking spaces on the Newport Bayfront are generally difficult to find, but Bay Boulevard is pretty quiet these days, and with Gov. Kate Brown's latest executive order, the street will likely be pretty much deserted for the foreseeable future. (Photo by Steve Card)

PORTLAND — Gov. Kate Brown on Monday issued an executive order closing non-essential businesses and directing all Oregonians to stay home unless absolutely necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Brown’s order closes and prohibits shopping at certain 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.” This does not include grocery stores or eateries and other food service establishments already ordered to serve takeout and delivery only.

Violation of the order is a Class C misdemeanor both for the business and anyone patronizing it.

The governor hedged on making such an order formal during a press conference Friday evening, even while directing the state’s residents to “stay home, stay healthy.” In a statement accompanying Monday’s order, Brown said she was tightening up restrictions because many had ignored her social distancing guidelines.

“I started by asking Oregonians to stay home and practice social distancing. Then I urged the public to follow these recommendations. Instead, thousands crowded the beaches of our coastal communities, our trails, our parks and our city streets, potentially spreading COVID-19 and endangering the lives of others across the state. Now, I’m ordering it. To save lives and protect our community,” Brown said.

The order also requires businesses not closed by the order to implement social distancing policies in order to remain open, and it requires workplaces to implement teleworking and work-at-home options when possible. It closes recreational facilities, such as playgrounds, sports courts and skate parks, and those that remain open are required to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines. It also outlines new guidelines for child care facilities, setting limits on how many children are allowed, and outlining that child care groups may not change participants.

The full text, which includes a more complete list of businesses that will close, can be read here

The order goes into effect immediately and remains effective until ended by the governor.