File photo: Chas Hundley

Oregon’s risk level framework and the majority of masking, capacity, and social distancing measures will be lifted no later than June 30, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced in a press conference on Friday, June 25. 

The framework and safety measures could end sooner, if the state hits the target of 70% of Oregon adults vaccinated with at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

That scenario is unlikely due to a slowing rate of vaccinations and the fact that many clinics are closing in the face of likely record-breaking temperatures this weekend. 

As of Friday, 31,264 adults in Oregon would need to receive their first dose to hit 70%, according to the Oregon Health Authority. 

But as temperatures mount — some parts of Oregon could see a high of 115 on Sunday — and Oregonians shelter from the sun, new vaccine rates could slow even further from their already slow pace. 

“While many vaccination clinics will cancel events this weekend, we’re working to see if we can offer vaccinations at some cooling center locations,” said OHA Director Pat Allen during remarks at Friday’s press conference. 

Washington County’s largest vaccine clinic still open past today (The Hillsboro Stadium clinic closes Friday) at the Tektronix campus in Beaverton announced it would close Saturday and Sunday, June 26 - 27 due to the forecasted extreme heat. 

Other vaccine opportunities in Washington County can be found online on the Washington County website or by dialing 211. 

Brown signed an executive order that will lift the framework and most safety restrictions — some places, such as federal buildings or airplanes, may still require masks or other restrictions — but keep the state’s emergency declaration active. 

“This action will give Oregon the flexibility and access to resources needed to aid in our recovery efforts,” Brown said. 

“Brighter days are ahead. We are more determined than ever to make sure we ground our state in a strong recovery that reaches every single Oregonian. Our work is not done, but we can all take a moment to celebrate that by next week, we will be moving forward, together.”

During the press conference, Allen noted that despite the 69% vaccine rate in adults in Oregon, the danger remains high for those who have not been vaccinated, which includes those who cannot become vaccinated due to health conditions, those under 12, and also those who have chosen to forego vaccinations. 

“98% of people who are dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated,” Allen said “And more contagious and possibly more dangerous variants are spreading in Oregon, posing a threat in counties with low vaccination rates."

Executive Order 21-15, signed today by Gov. Brown, rescinds her previous executive orders 20-66, which was the most recent iteration of the “Stay Home, Save Lives” order, EO 20-22, which limited certain elective or nonurgent medical procedures, and three orders dealing with schools and childcare, executive orders 21-06, 20-28, and 20-19.

The order extends the current emergency declaration through the end of 2021, a requirement, the governor said, to continue receiving federal aid and continue a number of other emergency procedures to combat the virus.