Curry County Commissioners

Curry County Commissioners, from left, John Herzog, Court Boice and Chris Paasch.

Calling for an end to mandated lockdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Curry County Board of Commissioners said they would not enforce future closures of schools or businesses, or stay-at-home orders, if mandated by the state.

Although there are no current mandated closures due to the virus, COVID-19 has found new footing in the community. The surge has caused many local businesses to close doors temporarily, due to employees contracting the virus or having a potential exposure.

On July 29, Gov. Kate Brown announced masks would be required at K-12 schools statewide for the 2021-22 school year. Possibly foreseeing future COVID-19 related mandates from the governor’s office, the board unanimously decided they would not enforce some rules.

“All employees and agencies of Curry County shall not assist in the enforcement of business closure, school closure or stay-at-home directives under the Executive Orders of the Governor relating to the goronavirus pandemic,” according to the resolution.

Commissioner Court Boice said his intention was not to defy the state, but to maintain control of local decision-making.

“Everything got hit so hard last year, and even well into 2021, that we had some of those decisions taken away from us. That doesn’t mean we would have voted differently than what the state mandated...but in the interest of our businesses, our schools, our veterans, our seniors and our retired people, we want to be very much involved in that,” he said.

Commissioner Chris Paasch said this move was to protect constitutional rights. He added he was also opposed to businesses mandating vaccines for their employees, which many major companies have already done, including Facebook, Google and Ford.

“I’m in favor of letting Washington know that one little county in Oregon would like to have our Constitution back,” said Paasch.

As for the vaccine, Boice said he believes it is the best way to defeat the virus, however, he would never force someone to take it.

“This is not in any way to suggest that we are not encouraging people to take the vaccine, but it is their personal choice.”


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(7) comments


Seems to me like grandstanding. We will not abide by the state telling us what to do, but we may vote to do it.


This is an incredibly disturbing decision. People's lives are at risk here and these guys want to play doctor and defy the recommendations of some of the best medical people anywhere.


The ignorance and arrogance of these 2 commissioners is astonishing. Instead of doing everything they can to keep Curry Co. residents safe, they want to focus on national politics. This board needs to refocus their priorities. Unbelieveable.


I agree with you.




To say that the county will not abide by mandates by the state but will gladly accept financial and disaster help and at the same time ask for the state to take over a failing public health system is just plain childish. Grow up and leave the politics in your brief case! This county is shipping Covid patients to other hospitals in other states because the spread is so rampant. "You can't make me wear a mask or get a shot" cough, cough....

Steve Nelson

Let's all hope Mr. Paasch understands the repercussions from the fight he's starting. Things such as grant money for state and federally-funded projects can be denied or diverted. The tourists we need to spend money here will drive right on by or never plan to come here. Our children will get sick and bring covid home with them. My concern is that Mr. Paasch is using the same Constitution that he swore an oath to and violated now wants to use it as a shield against life-saving protection measures instituted by his own state's governmental process. The law provides a remedy for Mr. Paasch's complaint. It's called a civil suit and can be used to personally challenge the Governor but not in representation of the Citizens of Curry County. That would require a vote of we, the people. Mr. Paasch needs to check himself and start serving the interests of protecting his constituency.

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