As Virus Cases Rise, Oregon Gets a 'Yellow Light'

Governor pauses all reopening for a week
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2020 2:35 PM CDT
Updated Jun 12, 2020 3:26 PM CDT
Oregon Freezes Reopenings as Cases Rise
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown speaks at a news conference in Portland in March.   (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)

After a jump in confirmed coronavirus cases, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is putting a seven-day hold on any further reopenings in the state. "This is essentially a statewide ‘yellow light,'" said the governor. Oregon recorded 178 new cases Thursday, its high mark, and two deaths, reports the Oregonian. The state totals are now 5,287 cases and 171 deaths. Brown's move came just before Multnomah County—the most populous county and home to Portland—was to receive the all-clear to begin "Phase 1" of its reopening. The state's other 35 counties had been allowed to begin loosening restrictions, but now all county applications for further reopenings are on hold.

The governor's right to impose restrictions was endorsed Friday by the state's Supreme Court. A group of churches, businesses, and citizens had sued, saying the governor's pandemic measures weren't constitutional or legal, per WDRV. The justices threw out a preliminary injunction that had been issued by a lower court and said they'd only step in if the pandemic restrictions went well beyond reasonable. "Those difficult choices must be made by the people's representatives in the legislative and executive branches of the government," the ruling said. Brown said the one-week break will give health officials time to investigate the increase in cases, which will help her decide whether to alter her reopening schedule. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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