Due to the progression of COVID-19 on the west coast, Mayor Ted Wheeler has declared a State of Emergency in the City of Portland. Mayor Wheeler signed the Emergency Declaration on Thursday, March 12, 2020. The declaration gives the City additional powers to properly address the threat of infection and harm including—but not limited to—limiting mass public gatherings if necessary to stop the potential spread of infection. It also gives the City the tools necessary to support the County, the State and city employees. Portland City Code—viewable at this link—describes the powers afforded the Mayor in a declared State of Emergency.
Here are the latest actions the City is specifically taking:
- During the State of Emergency, water service will not be disconnected for non-payment of sewer/stormwater/water bills.
- We will convene a COVID-19 Economic Impact Task Force to generate ideas for a stimulus package to help small and large businesses recoup losses from canceled events and loss of business.
- We are expanding community hygiene stations citywide.
- We are assisting shelter providers to keep winter shelters open.
- We are protecting the thousands of city employees and its visitors by postponing or canceling non-essential work gatherings.
- We are stopping non-essential travel for meetings and conferences and encouraging vulnerable employees to stay home for as long as they need to.
These are just a few of the many actions the City is taking. More information to come.