Gov. Kate Brown Will End Most State COVID-19 Restrictions on June 30

The governor will not make the state wait to achieve her benchmark of 70% of adults with one shot.

store open Now open: A store on Southeast Foster Road. (Wesley Lapointe)

Gov. Kate Brown will end most of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions on June 30 whether or not the state achieves the benchmark she previously set for Oregonians 18 years or older receiving one shot of vaccine.

Initially, Brown set a goal of 70% of Oregonians 16 years or older receiving one shot as the threshold for reopening. On Friday, Oregon Health Authority officials cited a change in the way the federal government is tracking vaccinations as the reason that particular goal has now shifted.

It’s not the first time the governor has set COVID-19 benchmarks and then compromised on them, but OHA officials say the state is expected to reach the benchmark by June 30. As of June 25, some 31,264 adult Oregonians still had to get a vaccination for the state to reach 70%.

At a press conference on June 25, Brown cited the need to give businesses a certain date when restrictions would end.

“To give Oregonians certainty as we prepare to transition into this next phase, when Oregon reaches 70% of adults vaccinated, or by Wednesday, June 30—whichever comes first—we will lift the safety protocols we have relied on and reopen our economy,” Brown said.

That means the state capacity limits on restaurants and bars will end, and the mask mandate in most settings will too.

But even as she said the mask mandate and capacity limits would stay in place until June 30, Brown also said she recognized the need to shift venue capacity limits in the face of the record-breaking temperatures in Portland and other parts of the state.

At the press conference, Brown said only capacity on public transit would change. But later in the day, the Oregon Health Authority announced capacity limits on swimming pools, malls and movie theaters would be suspended, citing the extraordinary heat.

Brown signed the order at the virtual press conference on June 25.

“Brighter days are ahead,” said Brown, smiling and holding the document she had signed. “And we are more determined than ever to make sure we ground our state in a strong recovery that reaches every single Oregonian as we turn a page on this chapter of the pandemic. Our work is not done, but we can all take a moment to celebrate that, by next week, we will be moving forward together.”

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.