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Gov. Brown extends state of emergency

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will again extend Oregon’s state of emergency due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but she said she planned a full reopening of the economy by the end of June, according to a news release.

“The day is approaching when my emergency orders can eventually be lifted,” Brown said in the release. “How quickly we get there is up to each and every one of us doing our part.”

The state of emergency will be in place until June 28 “unless earlier rescinded or extended,” the release said. With the declaration in place, Brown can issue executive orders related to the pandemic.

“Extending the state of emergency also helps ensure Oregon is able to fully utilize available federal COVID-19 relief and assistance, including assistance with vaccine distribution,“ the release said.

Brown continued to push for more vaccinations across the state, saying the “overwhelming majority” of new COVID-19 cases are among those who have not yet been vaccinated.

“Younger, unvaccinated Oregonians are now showing up in our hospitals with severe cases of COVID-19,” Brown said. “Right now, more than ever, as we see the path over the peak of the spring surge and down the other side, we need Oregonians to step up and take on the personal responsibility to get vaccinated.”

On Thursday, 1,229,497 Oregonians were considered fully vaccinated, OHA data showed, while 564,615 others had received one shot in a two-dose regimen.

In Jackson County, 52,224 residents were considered fully vaccinated, and 25,287 others had received one of two doses.

In Josephine County, 21,690 residents were considered fully vaccinated, while 6,135 others had received one of two doses.

On Friday, Jackson and Josephine counties will move into the “extreme” category for COVID-19 risk because of a recent rise in cases and state hospitalizations passing the 300-mark.

The surge of new COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide continued Thursday, with 339 Oregonians hospitalized with the illness, 13 more than Wednesday, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Of that number, 71 people were in intensive care, seven more than Wednesday.

Eighteen COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Jackson and Josephine counties Thursday, unchanged from Wednesday, OHA data showed.

State health officials recorded 928 new coronavirus cases Thursday — including 32 new cases in Jackson County and 23 in Josephine County — which raised the state’s case count to 183,830.

Josephine County recorded the state’s only new COVID-19 fatality Thursday, an 88-year-old man who tested positive April 9 and died Tuesday at Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. The man had underlying health conditions, according to the OHA.

The fatality brought the state death toll to 2,491.

In Jackson County as of Wednesday, 2,916 of the local cases have been in west Medford; 2,469 cases were in east Medford; 1,440 have been reported in White City; 873 cases were reported in Central Point; 651 were in Ashland; 636 in Eagle Point; 262 in Wimer; 246 cases in Jacksonville; 246 in Talent; 187 in Gold Hill; and 30 in Trail.