Oregon Capital Bureau

SALEM -- Oregon will lift pandemic limits in place for over a year no later than next week, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday.

"When Oregon reaches 70% or by Wednesday, June 30, we will lift the safety programs we have relied on and open our economy," Brown said in a press call on Friday morning.

After the deadline passes, mandates on masks, social distancing and capacity limits of restaurants and venues will be removed.

"Effectively, Oregon is 100% open for business," she said.

But Brown and health officials said that the crisis for the state is not over.

"Some 98 percent of people dying from covid-19 are unvaccinated," Brown said.

Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said the pandemic is not over, but the management of the crisis will shift to local officials.

County commissioners will be responsible for public health decisions and the state will only compile statistics and offer assistance.

"Local officials will be responsible for those decisions and for the consequences," Allen said.

Allen warned that areas with high numbers of unvaccinated residents were in danger of infection flare-ups with the limits lifted.

"They're dry tinder," Allen said.

Setting a firm deadline was needed as the state headed into the popular July 4 weekend.

"Obviously businesses and venues need certainty on reopening," Brown said.

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