By declaring an emergency, the city government takes on fairly broad powers.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle gives his State of the City address in January.The mayor of Beaverton, Denny Doyle, signed an emergency declaration Friday, March 13, over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

At least 10 positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Washington County, with at least 30 statewide in Oregon. The respiratory illness is caused by the novel coronavirus, which was first detected late last year in Wuhan, China.

In Beaverton, the mayor can declare an emergency "whenever the City or an area therein is suffering or in imminent danger of suffering an event that may cause injury or death to persons, or damage to or destruction of property to the extent that extraordinary measures must be taken to protect the public health, safety, and welfare," according to city code.

In his declaration, Doyle specifically authorized the city government to make emergency procurements and ordered Beaverton's emergency management program manager to "take all necessary steps authorized by law to coordinate the response and recovery of this emergency."

Michael Mumaw is Beaverton's emergency manager.

Doyle is chief executive of the city, as Beaverton has a "strong mayor" system — which differs from neighbors in which the city manager is the head of city staff.

Although rarely invoked, city code gives Beaverton officials several broad powers when a state of emergency is declared, including:

• Setting a curfew.

• Prohibiting or limiting the size of public gatherings.

• Blocking off streets.

• Suspending commercial activity.

• Redirecting city funds for emergency use.

Oregon is already under restrictions on the size of gatherings. Gov. Kate Brown declared Wednesday evening, March 11, that gatherings of more than 250 people will not be allowed for the next four weeks.

Beaverton will be under a state of emergency until noon March 27.

All "non-essential" city events and public meetings have been canceled through March 27, per Doyle's order.

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