Brown extends Oregon COVID emergency as cases spike

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown is extending Oregon’s state of emergency for COVID-19 until June 28, saying a fourth surge of the pandemic is being driven by variants of the disease and causing increased cases and hospitalizations. The declaration allows Brown to issue executive orders restricting activity and helps the state utilize federal COVID-relief funds, the governor’s office said Thursday. Brown is putting 15 counties that encompass the state’s biggest cities into the state’s extreme risk category starting Friday, imposing restrictions that include banning indoor restaurant dining. The restaurant sector has objected to Brown’s action.