May 18, 2020 - Health

Judge tosses out Oregon stay-at-home restrictions

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A county judge in Oregon on Monday tossed out Gov. Kate Brown's stay-at-home executive order because it was not approved by the legislature within 28 days.

The big picture: Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff agreed with a group of churches who brought the lawsuit, arguing that Brown couldn't keep coronavirus restrictions in place for more than a month without the legislature's approval. She first issued the order on March 23.

  • “The stay-at-home order is no longer in effect. It is invalidated. If people want to get their haircut, they can. They can leave their home for any reason whether it’s deemed essential in the eye of the state or not,” Ray Hacke, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs, told AP.
  • Brown says she will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court in an attempt to keep the emergency order active.

What she's saying:

“Today’s ruling from the Baker County Circuit Court will be appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court within hours to keep my emergency orders in effect. This will ensure we can continue to safeguard the health of all Oregonians — including frontline health care workers, those living in nursing homes, workers in agriculture and food processing plants, and Oregonians with underlying health conditions –– while the legal process moves forward.
The science behind these executive orders hasn’t changed one bit. Ongoing physical distancing, staying home as much as possible, and wearing face coverings will save lives across Oregon."
“It is irresponsible to dismiss the health risks and science behind our measures to stop COVID-19. We would be faced with the prospect of another mass outbreak without the tools that have proven to be effective in protecting our friends, families, neighbors, and loved ones from this disease.”
— Kate Brown in a news release

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Florida reported on Wednesday its largest number of new novel coronavirus cases in a single day since April 17. 1,317 people tested positive to take the state total to 58,764, per the state's health department. Despite the rise, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said bars and clubs could reopen on Friday.

By the numbers: More than 107,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus and over 1.8 million people have tested positive, per data from Johns Hopkins. More than 479,000 Americans have recovered and over 18 million tests have been conducted.

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Why it matters: Nationwide, new cases have plateaued over the past week. To get through this crisis and safely continue getting back out into the world, we need them to go down — a lot.

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DeSantis says Florida bars and clubs can reopen this week

Outdoor restaurant in Fort Lauderdale on May 18. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that bars and clubs will be allowed to reopen on Friday, as the state continues to scale down restrictions it put in place because of the coronavirus, WCTV reports.

Why it matters: DeSantis ordered bars and clubs to close in mid-March as one of the first actions the state took to stem the spread of the coronavirus.