Coronavirus Update: New Order to Stay Home, Save Lives

House Speaker Tina Kotek

Coronavirus Update: New Order to Stay Home, Save Lives

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you were able to enjoy the nice weather this past weekend – without breaking social distancing requirements. Thank you for doing your part!

On Saturday, I volunteered at a local emergency food pantry. The pantry came up with a wonderful way to do “takeout” - bringing food boxes to people at their cars in order to protect families and volunteers. If you need food assistance, there’s more information down below. Don’t assume food pantries are closed – call them!

New Executive Order – Stay Home, Save Lives

Today, Governor Kate Brown issued a new executive order to direct Oregonians to stay home as much as possible to stop the spread of coronavirus. This Stay Home, Save Lives directive is essential for our public health as we work through this pandemic.

Reasons for leaving your home include buying food, accessing health care, fueling up your car and caring for family members and others in need. Physical activity, like jogging or walking, is permitted so long as you can maintain proper social distancing (staying at least six feet away from others). Restaurants that serve takeout and delivery can remain open for those purposes.

All non-essential social and recreational gatherings are immediately prohibited, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained. Gatherings of members of the same residential household are permitted.

The order closes playgrounds, sports courts, and skate parks, among other types of outdoor recreation facilities. It outlines new guidelines for child care facilities, setting limits and rules on numbers of children allowed in care and outlining that child care groups may not change participants. Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health and subject to a Class C misdemeanor.

Retail businesses closed by the order include:

  • Shopping: Outdoor and indoor malls and retail complexes, although individual types of businesses not subject to the measures may stay open.
  • Fitness: Gyms, sports and fitness centers, health clubs and exercise studios.
  • Grooming: Barbershops, beauty and nail salons and non-medical wellness spas.
  • Entertainment: Theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys and pool halls.

Below is a general guide to what everyone should do and not do as long as this executive order is in place.

Stay Home, Save Lives

Keeping People Housed

Yesterday, Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order placing a 90-day moratorium on residential evictions for nonpayment of rent due to the public health emergency caused by the spread of coronavirus in Oregon.

This is welcome news in the midst of a very difficult time.

I’ve referenced housing in my previous newsletters, knowing the concern many of you have about making rent and mortgage payments during this pandemic. I can assure you that in addition to the Governor’s temporary eviction moratorium, the Legislature is looking into increasing access to residential rental and mortgage assistance. We are also closely tracking what assistance may come from the federal government.

Special Committee Continues Its Work

The Special Joint Committee on Coronavirus Response met for the third time today and will continue its work this week to prepare an initial emergency relief package to support families, workers and businesses as quickly as possible. You can view the full list of proposals here.

Here are links to news coverage of the committee meetings to this point:

The Latest Numbers

As of today, the Oregon Health Authority has confirmed 191 diagnosed cases of coronavirus. For perspective, our state had 47 diagnosed cases one week ago. That means the diagnosed cases of coronavirus have quadrupled in only seven days. And, sadly, we have now seen five deaths related to coronavirus statewide.

It’s important to remember that as the new Stay Home, Save Lives executive order goes into effect this week, there will continue to be an increase in diagnosed cases. Oregon is ramping up its testing capacity, which is part of why we will continue to see more and more positive tests. It also takes anywhere from 5 days to 14 days to see symptoms.

Please, stay home and do your best to be part of the solution to reduce the spread of the virus.

Food Assistance During Spring Break

Although schools have been providing meals to children and teenagers since the school closures began, most schools are not doing this during this week’s spring break. If your children or others are in need, please check out this list of free food sources in Portland, compiled by Oregon Food Bank. Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon also has resources available here.

Important Links

Finally, here are some helpful links for students and families, unemployment insurance, and food assistance:

For up to date information, please check this link to the Oregon Health Authority where regular updates are posted:

Please email me at if you have specific concerns that have not been addressed by the OHA. Our office will do all we can to help and protect all Oregonians.

We will get through this together.



Tina Kotek

State Representative
House District 44
Speaker of the House

email: I phone: 503-986-1200
address: 900 Court St NE, H-269, Salem, OR 97301