Yesterday morning, Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order broadening the types of businesses required to close their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic and creates a penalty for those that seek to break the order.

Though it may seem similar to the “shelter-in-place” orders that states around the nation are utilizing, our executive order differs in one major way. During a shelter-in-place order, the government creates a list of “essential businesses/services” that can stay open, because they provide health-related services, give residents access to food, like grocery stores, or are otherwise considered essential because our society could not function if they fully closed. In our state, the Governor simply expanded her previous executive order, by including more businesses to the list that must close. This will allow our state needed flexibility during this uncertain time.

The Governor’s office and Democratic legislators are sharing images like the one here, which are very clear about what residents can and cannot do under this executive order, as well as what businesses are to be closed temporarily.

Residents should and can: stay home as much as possible, stay at least 6 feet away from others when you go out, go out for essentials like groceries and medical care, exercise outside like hiking and biking as long as you can maintain your 6 foot distance from others, and drop food off to neighbors who can’t go out.

Residents should not: gather in groups, get together with friends, have play dates for kids, or make unnecessary trips.

These are the businesses that are still operating: grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, bars and restaurants for takeout and delivery only, some other stores (as long as you’re 6 feet away from other people!), and gas stations.

These are the businesses that have been asked to temporarily close: malls and retail complexes, fitness, yoga and dance centers, barbershops, hair and nail salons, spas, cosmetic stores, tattoo parlors, theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys, skating rinks, museums, concerts, sporting events, festivals, campgrounds, pools, skate parks, playgrounds.

The executive order will be enforced on a complaint-based system, meaning that Oregonians not following the order will be ticketed after a complaint has been received, and an investigation completed.

Experts believe that the critical timeframe to stop the exponential growth of cases in our state begins this week, on March 24, 2020. Let’s be sure we’re fulfilling our social responsibility by working from home as we can, and only leaving our house on necessary errands.