Press Release: Multnomah County Board Of Commissioners Extends State Of Emergency

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The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners on Thursday, April 9, voted unanimously to extend the state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for another 90 days.

The action extends Multnomah County’s prior declaration that was set to expire on April 10 to July 9, 2020. Chair Deborah Kafoury acted on March 11, a day after the first case of the novel virus was discovered in Multnomah County on March 10.

“Extending this emergency declaration acknowledges that the health and safety of our community remains under threat from a global pandemic,” Chair Kafoury said.

Under the emergency, the County has mobilized resources to meet numerous needs, including spreading out shelter beds across temporary facilities to abide by social distancing guidelines; placing a temporary moratorium on residential evictions; and investing $100,000 into emergency motel vouchers to protect people at risk of domestic violence. 

The County is standing up operations to increase food access for individuals and households experiencing food insecurity.

The county’s emergency operations center (EOC) also activated soon after the first case of new coronavirus was reported in Washington state on Jan. 21. The emergency center was fully activated a month later, after the first Oregon case.

There, the County’s health, emergency management and communications departments are spearheading the COVID-19 response. The EOC quickly established a public-facing COVID-19 website that provides advice, guidance, resources and news. They have also facilitated the transfer of personal protective equipment from state and federal governments and private donors to hospitals, first responders and community groups serving vulnerable populations. 

Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s statewide “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order remains in effect until it is terminated by the governor. The City of Portland extended their state of emergency on Thursday, March 26, for two more weeks.

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