Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on COVID-19, protests & People of Color Caucus

SALEM, Ore. — Across the country and here in Oregon, the past few months have been historic. Now as parts of Oregon looks toward fully reopening in the not too distant future, Governor Brown said the state is also looking to tackle police reform.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown says southern Oregon is tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You all as a region have done an extraordinary job and as a result, we’ve seen relatively low transmission rates,” Governor Kate Brown said. “As a result, you’ve been able to flatten the curve.”

As the state looks to continue reopening, she said long-term care facility testing is one of the key components to safely, fully reopening the state, and protecting Oregonians most vulnerable.

“We are moving to how do we sustain safety over the long term and that’s why we think it’s really important that we regularly test staff and we do an entire testing strategy to regularly test our residents,” Brown said.

But as largely peaceful protests continue in Oregon and across the country, demanding law enforcement reform, the concern of a surge state-wide is front of mind.

“I was worried about the Trump protesters in the state capitol protesting my stay at home order, and I’m worried about the protesters in Portland and the Rogue Valley and eastern Oregon who are protesting that we end racial injustices in this state and in this country,” Governor Brown said.

Brown said the People of Color Caucus in the legislature is working to address protesters’ concerns.

“Allowing the Attorney General to investigate when there has been an injury or death in a law enforcement case and ensuring that we hold police officers accountable for their actions,” Brown said.

The Governor said the time is now to begin this work, especially as the country looks to reopen from a worldwide pandemic.

“I’m committed to building as we move into our reopening phase a more just and equitable Oregon,” Brown said.

The Governor encouraged anyone who is out protesting to make sure they are following public health guidelines by social distancing and wearing a mask.

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