General Questions & Concerns

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has provided some useful (non-health) FAQs, including a number of questions related to businesses and employees.


Do I have to close my business during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Generally, if you are not an “essential business”, you must close during the COVID-19 pandemic. But what is an “essential business”?

Although Oregon has not clearly defined what is an “essential business”, Executive Order 20-12 sets forth a list of categories that must stop operating (i.e. that are not “essential businesses”) because these businesses cannot be operated safely. 

As you likely know, restaurants and bars (and other establishments that offer food and drink) can continue to operate as long as they only provide take-out and delivery services (but not on-premises consumption). Otherwise, the list of “essential businesses” includes many businesses that provide food, groceries, health care, medical care, pharmacy services, and pet store services.

The State of Oregon’sCOVID-19 resource page has guidance and information related to what constitutes an “essential business” and other issues, including a “quiz” to help you determine if you are allowed to remain open or must close.

If my business remains open (or when my business reopens), what do I need to do to protect myself and employees?

The State of Oregon has not provided any formal guidance (yet) on preparing workplaces for COVID-19, so, for now, Oregon employers should follow the guidance provided by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.

Are the Oregon state courts open during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Chief Justice Martha L. Walters has imposed state court restrictions on trials, hearing, and in-person services until March 27, 2020. You can find more information on the Oregon Judicial Department website.

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