Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury: County residents must stay home until Dec. 16 to slow surge

November 13, 2020

Multnomah County residents should expect to stay home for at least the next four weeks. As Gov. Kate Brown stated today, people should cancel their social plans immediately and businesses should be preparing to operate under the new guidance no later than Wednesday, Nov. 18. We expect these restrictions to be in place at least until Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Essential outings are allowed for individuals to get food, medicines, care for others, or be outside at least 6 feet away from others. Employees are required to work from home to the greatest extent possible and offices are closed to the public.

As the most populous county in Oregon with the bulk of the state’s COVID-19 cases and half of the state’s hospital beds, we must immediately take steps to slow the current surge. In the last month, we have seen our daily case count triple, including hundreds of cases in the community that can’t be traced to known cases or outbreaks. If we don’t implement these measures now, we have modeling that shows we will see thousands more cases per week by the end of November.

Four weeks of full community cooperation is our best chance to turn this tide and ultimately save lives, protect our hospital capacity and support our essential workers. With surges also occurring in neighboring states and across the country, there will be no outside help. We must take aggressive action now to save lives among our local residents.

This also allows Multnomah County to refocus our finite resources to those most impacted by the virus, including Black, Indigenous and other people of color, long-term care residents and staff, and other workers in conditions that put them at higher risk of transmission.

For more information on where to find testing and what to do if you have symptoms or test positive: https://multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

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