Face masks. Photo: Chas Hundley

Oregon Governor Kate Brown extended Oregon’s declaration of a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, bringing the new expiration to June 28, unless rescinded early by the governor. 

This time, unlike many 60-day extensions that came before, could be among the last extensions of the order. 

“I intend to fully reopen our economy by the end of June, and the day is approaching when my emergency orders can eventually be lifted,” Brown said in a press release. “How quickly we get there is up to each and every one of us doing our part. Over 1.7 million Oregonians have received at least one dose of vaccine, and over 1.2 million are fully vaccinated against this deadly disease.”

The declaration — Executive Order 21-10 — extends the original Executive Order 20-03, which was first issued March 8, 2020. The order provides Brown with a legal basis for subsequent executive orders that have shuttered businesses, to expanding who may administer vaccines in Oregon, while also allowing federal aid to flow into the state. 

On Wednesday, April 28, the Oregon Health Authority released a weekly report with a grim assessment of the track of COVID-19 in Oregon. 

[“The report] shows a fifth consecutive week of surging daily cases and surging hospitalizations from the previous week,” a news release from the Oregon Health Authority read. 

“We are in the middle of the fourth surge of COVID-19 in Oregon, driven by more contagious variants of the disease,” Brown said. “We must stop hospitalizations from spiking, so we can save lives, help our nurses and doctors weather this surge, and ensure no Oregonian is denied vital health care. Tomorrow, 15 counties are moving to the Extreme Risk Level, with nine more in High Risk. Hospitalizations nearly doubled in the last two weeks, to well over 300.”

Brown also lifted a previous executive order pertaining to price gouging concerns during the pandemic, a sign that some of the economic impact of the pandemic was lessening. 

How to find a vaccine appointment

Those seeking a vaccine should first sign up for the state-run online tool known as Get Vaccinated Oregon. Users can ask to receive a text message or email with local vaccine clinic and appointment information. 

Users of the site in Washington County and other metro counties can receive a notification when their name is drawn at random to schedule an appointment at the Oregon Convention Center, where the Oregon National Guard and others are administering vaccines. 

Hillsboro Stadium and PDX Airport Red economy lot drive-through clinics

According to Washington County Health and Human Services, appointment slots for the two OHSU-run drive through clinics are generally released most weekdays around 9 a.m., and are typically gone 30-60 minutes after they are made available. Sign up at www.ohsu.edu/health/covid-19-vaccines-information-and-appointments.

Vaccine Spotter

Many local pharmacies are offering vaccine appointments, but they tend to be hard to come by in the Portland Metro area, and they go fast. Enter www.vaccinespotter.org, a third party tool that tracks recent available vaccine appointments state-by-state, pharmacy-by-pharmacy.

You can also visit the website of a local pharmacy to attempt to find an available appointment. 

Nike campus vaccine clinic

Washington County frequently hosts a vaccine clinic in Beaverton at the Nike Campus; visit the county’s vaccine information page for more information and a scheduling link.