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Brown narrows reasons why Oregonians can leave homes

SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown is ordering more Oregonians stay home unless they are getting groceries, going to work or engaged in important activities that cannot wait.

In a copy of a memo obtained by the Oregon Capital Bureau, Brown’s staff said the Stay Home to Stay Healthy Executive Order is about “keeping Oregon moving as much as we can, while keeping people home and stopping the spread.”

The order will close more businesses, impose penalties for failure to comply and require that open businesses enforce social distancing guidelines. But some businesses can stay open for pick-up or delivery services.

Brown’s staff had said she would issue the order between 8 and 10 a.m. Monday but that self-imposed deadline passed with no announcement. She had discussed the framework of the order with local officials and legislators in teleconferences on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a special legislative committee continued to pore through proposals to help Oregon businesses and residents respond to the economic and health aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday morning, they discussed unemployment benefits and other issues.

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, asked about economic assistance for independent contractors, such as hairdressers, who are not eligible for unemployment. It is unclear whether such businesses will be eligible for federal assistance.

“They are the smallest of the small business owners,” said committee co-chair Rep. Paul Holvey, D-Eugene. “That’s something we’ve got to figure out.”

Holvey said most actions that will be taken in a special legislative session would be temporary measures, not permanent state policy.

Businesspeople and Republican legislators proposed that agencies “pause all non-essential rulemaking and workgroups not related to the COVID-19 response.” Holvey said the governor may need changes in state law to have that flexibility.

Rep. Duane Stark, R-Grants Pass, said regulations on workers’ maximum hours and on predictive scheduling are among those that should be eased as employers deal with coronavirus. Sen. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, said county offices should be allowed to open fewer hours than required by state laws.

All state parks were closing as of Monday, with campers required to vacate their sites by 1 p.m. and day-use areas closing at 5 p.m.

According to the memo from Brown’s staff, among the businesses that will be ordered to close:

“Amusement parks; aquariums; arcades; art galleries (to the extent that they are open without appointment); barber shops and hair salons; bowling alleys; cosmetic stores; dance studios; esthetician practices; fraternal organization facilities; furniture stores; gift shops, jewelry shops, toy stores, and boutiques (unless they provide goods exclusively through pick-up or delivery service); gyms and fitness studios (including climbing gyms); hookah bars; indoor and outdoor malls (i.e., all portions of a retail complex containing stores and restaurants in a single area); indoor party places (including jumping gyms and laser tag); medical spas, facial spas, day spas, and non-medical massage therapy services; museums; nail and tanning salons; non-tribal card rooms; skating rinks; senior activity centers; ski resorts; social and private clubs; tattoo/piercing parlors; tennis clubs; theaters; yoga studios; and youth clubs.

“Also note that (1) indoor/outdoor malls and other listed businesses are not prohibited from operating to provide food, grocery, health care, medical, pharmacy, or pet store services; and (2) food and drink establishments continue to be regulated by prior Executive Order No. 20-07 (prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink, but allowing take-out or delivery service).”

Gov. Kate Brown speaks at a news conference to announce a four-week ban on eat-in dining at bars and restaurants throughout the state Monday, March 16, 2020, in Portland, Ore. Restaurants can still offer take-out and delivery. The order is intended to slow the spread of the new coronavirus in Oregon and mirrors similar bans elsewhere, including Washington state. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)