Oregon governor issues ‘stay home’ order to enforce coronavirus restrictions

Gov. Kate Brown, under fire for the ambiguous guidelines she issued Friday on social distancing, issued a more definitive order Monday morning that establishes indefinite, legally enforceable restrictions on public activity in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“If we all do it we can save lives,” Brown said on a press call Monday afternoon.

The governor instructed people to stay home except when traveling for essential work, buying food and similar critical supplies or returning to their own homes. Recreational travel, of the kind that brought swarms of Oregonians to the coast last weekend in defiance of the governor’s earlier directive, is now forbidden by law.

Monday’s order, which cites authority under four state statutes, is the most profound action in a series of steps that have fundamentally altered life in Oregon this month. Parts of it take effect at midnight, others kick in Wednesday, and there’s no end date. Brown indicated it could remain in place for a sustained period.

Those who defy the order can be charged with endangering public health, a class C misdemeanor. People found to have violated her order could be jailed for up to 30 days or fined $1,250, though law enforcement agencies said Monday they’re more likely to inform people about the restrictions than cite them for violations.

From “The Oregonian”