What Governor Brown’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order means for bioscience in Oregon

On March 23, Governor Brown issued Executive Order No. 20-12 expanding on her previous restrictions on business operations. We are thankful for the work Gov. Brown and the legislature are doing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  If Gov. Brown decides it is necessary to expand upon this Executive Order, we will continue to advocate for the adoption of the federal DHS/CISA list of Essential Businesses as part of any additional “Stay Home/Shelter in Place” order.  The current order lists additional businesses (#2 on page 4) that must close, and grants authority to the Oregon Health Authority, with her consent, to close additional businesses, organizations and locations (#5 on page 4).  Several industries, including bioscience, manufacturing and construction, to name a few, were not specifically targeted for closure.

Businesses not ordered to close must still comply with workplace restrictions, including designating a person who will establish and enforce workplace restrictions and social distancing policies (#9-11 on page 5). In anticipation of a more restrictive (Shelter in Place) order, last week Oregon Bio, PhRMA, AdvaMed and BIO finalized language that we have shared with the Governor and key state officials.

If Shelter-in-Place orders become necessary in Oregon, we’ll continue to work with Gov. Brown to include this language: The following business activities are deemed essential and should be exempt from any Shelter-in-Place orders: Healthcare operations and essential infrastructure, including hospitals; clinics; dentists; pharmacies; insurance providers; other healthcare facilities; home healthcare services providers; mental health providers; companies and institutions involved in research and development; and the manufacturing, distributing, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology therapies, consumer health products, medical devices, diagnostics, equipment, services and any other healthcare-related supplies or services. This shall be broadly construed to include all other activities, supplies, services and manufactured components required to maintain supply chain operations without disruption. “Healthcare operations” also includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals.

Oregon Bio continues to advocate for language that considers the vital operations of our industry in any potential additions to the Executive Order or any Shelter-in-Place orders. We are certainly not encouraging lockdown, and we want to be sure our member companies can continue their very important work, including diagnostics, treatments, and the research and potential development of vaccines for COVID-19, while caring for the safety of employees, customers and suppliers in our industry.

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