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Governor Requires Face Coverings In Lincoln County

Governor Kate Brown released the following statement today:

photo by KVAL

“Last week I issued a statewide pause on all county applications to move into Phase 1 or Phase 2. “I instituted the statewide pause because of the rising number of cases in both rural and urban communities. I did this to give public health experts time to assess what factors are driving the spread of the virus and make adjustments to our reopening strategy.

“Since then, the Oregon Health Authority has continued to analyze data in the state, including the source of the growth in new cases, hospitalizations, results of contact tracing, and other metrics. Additionally, I have consulted with independent health experts, business leaders, and local elected officials. Today, I am announcing the following four decisions:

“First, I will be instituting a requirement to wear face coverings while in indoor public spaces, such as grocery stores and other businesses, for the following counties: Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Hood River, Marion, Polk, and Lincoln. This mandate will be effective beginning Wednesday, June 24.

“The next few weeks will be difficult, and we will be monitoring the data regularly. We are much better prepared than we were in early March. We have increased PPE, much more widespread testing, and many more contact tracers. “However, if hospitalizations spike too rapidly, if the capacity of our health care system is threatened, we will be forced to revert to stricter rules.

“Our entire ability to reopen and stay open is dependent on whether each of us follows basic health and safety protections. Stay home if you feel sick, wear a face covering, keep six feet of distance, avoid crowds, and wash your hands regularly. We truly are all in this together.”

One week after the pause in Oregon’s reopening, the data continues to show that cases are

increasing throughout the state. Public health is investigating many outbreaks across the state, as well as identifying increased cases that are not able to be traced back to a known case. As OHA’s modeling projected and health experts expected, Oregon is seeing a rise in cases as Oregonians begin to interact in more normal ways. In addition:

• Some of the increase in cases over the last week are due to large outbreaks in Lincoln

and Union counties.

• As testing increases, the percent of positive tests is also increasing, indicating that we

are seeing more COVID-19 in the state (now 3.2 percent).

• OHA has not recorded significant increases in emergency department visits for COVID-

19-like infections.

To suppress the wider spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, OHA urges state residents to strictly

follow public health guidance: wear face coverings in public when unable to maintain six feet of distance, wash hands frequently, avoid groups (especially indoors), stay home if you’re sick,

work from home if possible, and answer the call if you hear from a contact tracer.

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