Oregon Governor Announces “Stay Home” Order

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Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-12, “Stay Home, Save Lives” (the “Order”), on March 23, 2020 to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Order mandates closure, effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 24, 2020, of a list of businesses for which close personal contact is difficult or impossible to avoid, including most places of recreation, museums and galleries, social and private clubs, salons, spas, gyms and fitness studios, indoor and outdoor malls, cosmetic stores, furniture stores, jewelry shops, tattoo/piercing shops, theaters, and ski resorts.  The Oregon Health Authority also has authority to identify additional business closures that are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Restaurants and bars may remain open for take-out and delivery services only.

Retail businesses not specifically listed in the Order are also ordered closed unless the business designates an employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.  This requirement does not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies; however, such businesses are encouraged to comply with social distancing guidelines.

All businesses and non-profits with offices in Oregon must arrange for employees to work from home to the maximum extent possible.  Work in offices is prohibited when work from home options are available, in light of position duties, availability of teleworking equipment, and network adequacy.  When work from home options are not available, businesses and non-profits must designate an employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.

The Order also directs individuals to stay at home or at their place of residence to the extent possible, and prohibits all non-essential social and recreational gatherings, regardless of size, unless a distance of at least six feet between individuals can be maintained.  When individuals need to leave their place of residence, they must maintain social distance of at least six feet from any person who is not a member of their immediate household.  Individuals may go outside for recreational activities such as walking but must maintain appropriate social distance (six feet or more) at all times.  The Order also imposes restrictions on childcare facilities and outdoor recreation and travel.

Violation of the Order is a class C misdemeanor, with potential punishment of up to 30 days in jail and a $1,250 fine.

For advice on how the Order affects your business, please contact us.

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Melissa J. Healy
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