In a press conference today (11/13) Governor Kate Brown announced that Covid 19 cases have increased dramatically, with over 1,000 cases in the state yesterday. They have found the majority of the cases are from spiratic community spread. Some hospitals in the Portland Metropolitan area are once again reducing surgeries to make sure they have enough beds for Covid patients. Dr. Dean Sidlinger the state epidemiologist said the virus is raging across the state right now. For this reason the Governor has implemented a two week freeze that will be implemented statewide starting next Wednesday, November 18 and will be in effect through December 2.
A new travel advisory and additional restrictions on gatherings, restaurants and gyms were also announced. The new travel advisory was announced in coordination with Washington and California, recommending 14-day quarantines for all inter-state and international travel, along with asking residents to stay local. “COVID-19 does not stop at state lines,” Brown said. “As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them. If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”
Brown said Oregonians should prepare to hunker down to an extent similar to earlier days of the pandemic. Brown’s Two-Week Freeze walks back guidelines on gatherings, restaurants, gyms and more. It does not, however, affect current protocols for personal services like barbershops, hair salons or non-medical massage therapy. It also does not change protocol for homeless sheltering, outdoor recreation and sports, youth programs, childcare, K-12 schools, K-12 sports currently allowed, current Division 1 and professional athletics exemptions and higher education. All will continue to follow previous guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority.
The two-week freeze measures include:
· Limiting social get-togethers (indoors and outdoors) to no more than six people, total, from no more than two households.
· Limiting faith based organizations to a maximum of 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.
· Limiting restaurants and bars to take-out only.
· Closing gyms and fitness organizations.
· Closing indoor recreational facilities, museums, indoor entertainment activities, and indoor pools and sports courts.
· Closing outdoor recreational facilities, zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor entertainment activities, and outdoor pools.
· Limiting grocery stores and pharmacies to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pick-up.
· Limiting retail stores and retail malls (indoor and outdoor) to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pick-up.
· Closing venues (that host or facilitate indoor or outdoor events).
· Requiring all businesses to mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible and closing offices to the public.
· Prohibiting indoor visiting in long-term care facilities.