In an attempt to answer frequently asked questions relating to the enforcement of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-12, “Stay Home, Save Lives,” the Oregon State Police is offering the following guidance.

Is this martial law?

No, not even close. There are no curfews and citizen movements are not restricted under the governor’s executive order. Although details are offered in the order relating to social distancing, specific business closures and nonessential social gatherings- citizen movements are generally unrestricted.

Do I need documentation from my employer deeming me essential?

No. The governor’s executive order closes certain businesses, outlined in section 2. These businesses reflect operations that would make close contact difficult or impossible to for close personal contact. Officers are not asking or looking for any type of special paperwork from your employer.

Do I need a special placard on my car, when going to work or if I drive for work?

No. There is no special documentation or placards for citizens going to work or permitted activities.

Will I be pulled over for driving on the highway?

Not for violation of the governor’s executive order, which specifically outlines efforts to avoid large gatherings — not restrict the movement of citizens. If, however, you are committing a traffic violation or crime that would be enforced independent of the order, you may be stopped, like any other day.

Are the state lines closed and are there roadblocks?

No, traffic is moving freely within the Oregon and our border states. There are no roadblocks or restrictions of vehicle movement. Washington state is operating under a similar executive order from their governor, so Oregonians should be aware of these provisions when traveling in their state.

If my business is closed, can I still go to work if my employer makes me? Won’t I be arrested?

While the order prohibits the public from congregating at a closed business, the employer may still have work to do on site. As long as employees are not conducting business that is prohibited by the executive order, it is okay to still be at the worksite. No “passes” or paperwork is required.

Are rest areas open?


Are police arresting or ticketing people in public or in violation of the governor’s Executive Order?

Citizens that violate the governor’s order in an emergency declaration could be arrested or cited, which is a Class C misdemeanor — the lowest level of criminal conduct designation. All Oregon law enforcement are united on the premise that police action is extremely undesirable and we hope to educate citizens if congregating in violation of the governor’s order. Citation or arrest would be an extreme last resort if a citizen failed to comply with the lawful direction of a police officer.

What about my kids that my congregate in a place without my permission, like a skate park?

Police know our children don’t often take their parent’s advice and may ignore direction when away. Like adults found to be congregating in a location, officers will likely approach the youths and educate them on the order. Citations and arrest are extremely unlikely, reserved for only the most extreme circumstances.

Can I still go hiking and fishing?

Yes. Oregonians can still recreate outdoors, if their recreational activity involves non-contact with others and they can maintain appropriate social distancing, which is defined as 6 feet or more from others. Citizens should be aware most campgrounds and boat ramps are closed, so should research their plans before recreating.

Should I call 911 if I see people congregating?

No. The level of this violation is not for reporting police, fire or medical emergencies through 911. Citizens may choose to self-educate their fellow Oregonians or if a large gathering is noted, they may call their respective police agency’s nonemergency number.

Scott Carroll can be reached at or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.

React to this story:


(4) comments


Watching three more fishing guides on the N. Umpqua with drift boats packed with clients ignoring the Governor's social distancing order.


Stay-home violator guide OR 797 AFJ


Stay-home violator OR 807 AFH


Oregon established a mechanism Tuesday for people to report instances when businesses aren’t following health advisories for maintaining a safe environment amid the coronavirus outbreak. People can submit complaints about these businesses online to Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health division at the below link, which can enforce restrictions designed to keep people and workers safe, according to Gov. Kate Brown’s office. Violators are technically subject to citation for a misdemeanor violation and penalties up to 30 days in jail, a $1,250 fine or both.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.