As more Oregon businesses and institutions are re-opening following COVID-19 lockdowns, state lawmakers are looking ahead to a possible second wave of the virus later this year.
During a meeting of the Interim House Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Wednesday, lawmakers heard from state emergency management officials about lessons learned during the first two months of the pandemic. One takeaway was that the state needs to be more self-reliant for personal protective equipment and other supplies.
That prompted Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth, to urge the state to start preparing for another surge of the coronavirus. “I need to know what a worst case, and what a worst, worst case scenario is for the fall, so we can push for PPE, we can push for ventilators, we can push for other things now, over the summer,” he said.
It would take a special session for large-scale spending on medical equipment and other supplies. Some lawmakers have called for the legislature to meet, but legislative leaders and the governor have not scheduled a special session for now.