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In an attempt to answer frequently asked questions relating to the enforcement of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-12 “Stay Home, Save Lives,” the Oregon State Police is offering guidance.
Is this martial law? No, not even close. There are no curfews and a person’s movements are not restricted under the Governor’s Executive Order. While details are offered in the order relating to social distancing, specific business closures and non-essential social gatherings- Oregonian’s movements are generally unrestricted.
Do I need documentation from my employer deeming me essential? No. The Governor’s Executive Order closes certain businesses, outlined in section (2). These businesses reflect operations that would make close contact difficult or impossible to avoid. Officers are not asking or looking for any type of special paperwork from your employer.
Do I need a special placard on my car, when going to work or if I drive for work? No. There is no special documentation or placards for people going to work or permitted activities.
Will I be pulled over for driving on the highway? Not for violation of the Governor’s Executive Order, which specifically outlines efforts to avoid large gatherings- not restrict the movement of Oregonians. If, however, you are committing a traffic violation or crime that would be enforced independent of the order, you may be stopped, like any other day.
Are the state lines closed and are there roadblocks? No, traffic is moving freely within Oregon and our border states. There are no roadblocks or restrictions of vehicle movement. Washington State is operating under a similar executive order from their Governor, so Oregonians should be aware of these provisions when traveling in their state.
If my business is closed, can I still go to work if my employer makes me? Won’t I be arrested? While the order prohibits the public from congregating at a closed business, the employer may still have work to do on site. As long as employees are not conducting business that is prohibited by the Executive Order, it is okay to still be at the worksite. No “passes” or paperwork is required.
Are rest areas open? Yes, generally. Some rest areas are connected to parks, which are currently closed to comply with the Executive Order.
Are police arresting or ticketing people in public or in violation of the Governor’s Executive Order? People that violate the Governor’s Order in an Emergency Declaration could be arrested or cited, which is a C Misdemeanor- the lowest level of criminal conduct designation. All Oregon law enforcement are united on the premise that police action is extremely undesirable and we hope to educate Oregonians if congregating in violation of the Governor’s Order. Citation or arrest would be an extreme last resort if a person failed to comply with the lawful direction of a police officer.
What about my kids that may congregate in a place without my permission, like a skate park? Police know our children don’t often take their parent’s advice and may ignore direction when away. Like adults found to be congregating in a location, officers will likely approach the youths and educate them on the order. Citations and arrest are extremely unlikely, reserved for only the most extreme circumstances.
Can I still go hiking and fishing? Yes. Oregonians can still recreate outdoors, if their recreational activity involves non-contact with others and they can maintain appropriate social distancing- which is defined as 6 feet or more from others. Oregonians and visitors to our state should be aware most campgrounds and boat ramps are closed, so you should research your plans before recreating.
Should I call 911 if I see people congregating? No. The level of this violation is not for reporting police, fire or medical emergencies through 911. People may choose to self-educate their fellow Oregonians or if a large gathering is noted, they may call their respective police agency’s non-emergency number.