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Tigard Mayor Jason Snider declared an emergency, which the City Council confirmed Tuesday.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Tigard Mayor Jason Snider delivers his State of the City address in January.Like several other cities across the region, Tigard has declared a local emergency as officials try to get the spreading coronavirus under control.

Washington County is where the first positive case of COVID-19 in Oregon was detected. That was on Feb. 28. Not quite three weeks later, Oregon now has 67 confirmed cases and two deaths associated with the viral illness, which is caused by the novel coronavirus first seen in humans late last year in Wuhan, China. Public health experts say there are likely many more cases that haven't been confirmed due to limited testing.

Tigard Mayor Jason Snider declared an emergency in Tigard on Monday morning, March 16. On Tuesday evening, March 17, the Tigard City Council voted to ratify his emergency declaration.

"COVID-19 constitutes an urgent threat to public health, requiring additional resources and protective measures to protect the health of City staff, family members, and the Tigard community," a resolution approved by the City Council states in part.

Under a declared state of emergency, Tigard municipal code gives city officials the authority to:

• Institute a curfew.

• Prohibit or limit the size of gatherings.

• Shut down streets and other areas to traffic.

• Require people to evacuate.

• Suspend commercial activity.

• Redirect city funds for emergency purposes.

• Shut off utility services.

• Prohibit the sale of alcohol, gasoline, weapons and explosives.

Emergency code in Tigard is broad, covering not just public health crises but also natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other situations that place Tigard residents in jeopardy.

The city government in Tigard has said it will temporarily waive late fees and suspend utility shutoffs for non-payment during the emergency.

The Tigard City Council also called on the state government Tuesday to limit evictions during the emergency. Neighboring Beaverton and Portland have already done so, but Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday that state officials weren't actively considering it at the time.

On Wednesday morning, March 18, President Donald Trump announced he has directed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to suspend foreclosures and evictions through the end of April.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information from the March 18 White House briefing.


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