Oregon extends state of emergency due to omicron spread

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Gov. Kate Brown (D) on Tuesday extended Oregon's state of emergency due to the fast-spreading COVID-19 omicron variant.

"We have learned throughout the pandemic to be prepared for the unexpected with this virus. The new Omicron variant, spreading quickly around the globe, offers yet another challenge that we learn more about each day," Brown said in her executive order.

"However, as we continue to navigate Delta, Omicron, and any other future variants that COVID-19 brings, my goals remain the same: to save lives, support doctors, nurses, and health care workers, and keep Oregon businesses, schools, and communities open," she added.

Brown acknowledged that people are getting "tired of this virus" and its related mitigation measures but said she had determined the criteria for declaring an emergency declaration "unfortunately" remained.

Extending the emergency declaration ensures that Oregon can continue to receive federal funding to help handle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oregon is currently reporting more than 800 new coronavirus cases per day on average, according to state data. On Monday the Oregon Health Authority confirmed 999 new COVID-19 cases. The Beaver State has confirmed three cases of the omicron variant, though there are likely more cases, as not all sequencing results are provided to public health surveillance.

Last month, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) also declared a state of emergency in her state in anticipation of the omicron variant.