March 23, 2020

Governor Kate Brown today issued Executive Order 20-12, directing everyone in Oregon to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. She ordered sweeping closures of parks, campgrounds, playgrounds and businesses where it is impossible to avoid close contacts. Residents may go outdoors to recreate, but only if they can maintain distance from anyone not part of their household.

Gov. Kate Brown at a March 20 press conference asks residents to stay home this spring break to slow spread of COVID-19

The order expands the list of businesses ordered closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order is effective immediately, and remains in effect until ended by the Governor.

“I started by asking Oregonians to stay home and practice social distancing. Then I urged the public to follow these recommendations,” she said in a press release issued Monday. “Instead, thousands crowded the beaches of our coastal communities, our trails, our parks, and our city streets, potentially spreading COVID-19 and endangering the lives of others across the state. Now, I’m ordering it. To save lives and protect our community.”

Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health and subject to a Class C misdemeanor.

About the order

  • Oregonians must stay home whenever possible; limited activities are allowed outside the home only when physical distance is maintained.

  • All nonessential social and recreational gatherings are prohibited, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained. Gatherings of members of the same residential household are permitted.

  • Shopping is prohibited at specific businesses where close personal contact is difficult to avoid.

  • Businesses not closed by the order must implement physical-distancing policies. Workplaces must implement teleworking and work-at-home options when possible.

  • Many outdoor recreation facilities must close, including playgrounds, sports courts and skate parks. Those that remain open are required to strictly adhere to physical-distancing guidelines.

  • Child care facilities must adhere to new limits on the numbers of children allowed in care. Child care groups may not change participants.


All businesses must have employees work from home, as much as possible. Non-retail businesses such as manufacturers and construction companies must ensure their employees maintain physical-distancing measures.

Many businesses and organizations heavily dependent on in-person interactions have already closed, while others are exempt from the order. 


  • Hospitals and health care

  • Grocery stores

  • Banks

  • Pharmacies

  • Take-out/delivery from restaurants and bars

  • Pet stores

  • Gas stations

  • Certain retail stores

  • Outdoor activities like walking your dog, jogging, or biking in your neighborhood

  • Child care facilities and babysitters (only if abiding by new rules)

Not Allowed

  • Social gatherings (parties, celebrations) with people from outside of your household

  • Dine-in restaurants and bars

  • Nightclubs and concerts

  • Shopping at outdoor or indoor malls and retail complexes

  • Fitness: Gyms, sports and fitness centers, health clubs, and exercise studios, dance and yoga studios

  • Grooming: Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, massage businesses, non-medical wellness spas, cosmetic stores, tattoo parlors

  • Entertainment: Theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys, music concerts, sporting events, museums, skating rinks

  • Outdoors: State parks, playgrounds, campgrounds, pools, skate parks, festivals

State activities

In addition to businesses, the order closes all state executive branch offices and buildings, and it shifts public services to virtual and telephone to the extent possible. When public services require in-person interactions, the order requires physical-distancing measures. 

State agencies must also facilitate telework and work-at-home for employees whenever possible. The order does not apply to local, federal or tribal governments, all of which are strongly encouraged to follow these directives.

The order directs state agencies to close parks and other outdoor spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained, expanding on actions taken March 19 by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.