Governor Brown held a press conference today, placing a two-week freeze statewide beginning on Wednesday November 18th through Wednesday December 2nd. Businesses should be in compliance by Wednesday November 18th. Individuals should start to be in compliance right now.
The Governor has initiated these measures:
- Wear a mask at all times except for eating or drinking, whether indoors or outdoors.
- This morning, with Washington Governor Inslee and California Governor Newsome, she issued a travel advisory that recommends those traveling out of state to 14 days of quarantine after return to Oregon.
- Only socialize with one other household, with a maximum of six people during the holiday and over the next two weeks.
- Continue to follow the protocols all have been following over the last several months: wash hands, stay six feet apart, wear a mask, except when eating and drinking.
- Some counties will need to stay in the freeze for longer than two weeks: for example, Multnomah County will be on a freeze for four weeks.
- Cases are topping 1,000 per day and is concerned that hospitals will be overrun with cases.
- Some hospitals are cancelling elective surgeries to ensure there are enough hospital beds and staff capacity for the virus surge.
Governor Brown said businesses in these categories can stay open but with limitations:
- Personal service providers: will remain open with strict guidelines (as those guidelines have been in place).
- Take out only for restaurants and bars.
- Pools can stay open that meet the metrics.
- Childcare remains open.
- Limiting groceries, pharmacies and retail to 75% capacity.
- Strongly encouraging curbside pick up.
- Social get together limited to six people (two families) and encouraging people to use social media, video chat or other methods to communicate with family and friends to stem the spread of the virus.
- Maximum number of people limited to 25 indoors and 50 outdoors (for example in churches and faith groups only 25 people indoors).
- Remote work for all businesses where possible.
Businesses she is ordering to close:
- Closing gyms and fitness organizations.
- Indoor and outdoor event venues.
Per OHA Director, Dean Sidelinger, the cases being seen today in hospitals, will likely grow because those cases represent infections from the last two weeks. He asked that people adhere to the protocols. A vaccine may be available to high risk individuals by the end of the year.
To limit social gatherings and spread of the virus, Governor Brown said she has asked the Chief of the State Police to work with local law enforcement to limit social gatherings. Law enforcement can give citations or arrest people in violation.
Dr. Edwards with OHSU said that the virus sets the timeline, and the pause is giving us a chance to slow the spread of the virus, flatten the curve. We don’t know have all the answers, its important to wear a mask, limit social distance, wash hands and do not gather in large groups.
You can watch the Governor’s press conference here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_et0zYftCsw.