Gov. Kate Brown on Monday announced a new order further limiting the size of gatherings and banning dine-in options at Oregon restaurants for four weeks. Brown also announced the formation of two COVID-19 task forces to support hospital capacity and address economic damage.
Brown said her order, effective Tuesday, March 17, calls for:
Mandatory cancellation of events of more than 25 people.
Restaurants to restrict food services to delivery and take-out.
Businesses to take physical distancing measures or consider closing their doors temporarily.
Monday’s announcement came just as President Donald Trump called for limits on gathering to no more than 10 people and a four-week school closure.
In response to the announcement, Brown said she is reevaluating her March 12 order closing Oregon schools for two weeks, until April 1. And she urges Oregonians to spend time at home and avoid any groups.
“Isolation from our friends and neighbors is the only way to flatten the curve of transmission and get Oregon through to the other side of this,” she said.
The combination of government orders and public health recommendations on physical distancing will cause certain economic damage across the state and country. To explore mitigation tactics, in Oregon, Brown announced the formation of an economic taskforce to propose a recovery package for small businesses and employees.
In addition to the economic taskforce, Brown announced the formation of a statewide healthcare task force to expand on the existing coordination of Portland Metro area hospitals and health systems.
Those partners are moving towards aligning COVID-19 related policies and addressing anticipated shortages of beds and personal protective equipment as the number of cases grows.
Vines will speak about the regional situation and potential shortage of personal protective equipment during a Tuesday, 9 a.m. press briefing in Room 150 at the McCoy Building, 619 NW 6th Ave.
What can you do?
There are important things we can do to slow the spread of this virus and reduce the chances that someone we love gets really sick. It will take each of us to commit to these steps:
Individuals: Stay home as much as possible. If you are ill, only seek health care if you otherwise would. There is no specific treatment for this virus. Anyone with mild illness does not need to be tested for COVID-19 at this time. Get a flu shot to lower the chances of having a cough illness.
Families: If you have a loved one who is hospitalized or in a long term care facility, consider ways to connect through phone calls, letters and video conferencing, instead of in-person visits.
Employers: Support teleworking and other physical distancing options. Accommodate time off for sick leave or to care for ill family members. Do not require testing or a note for return to work.
Regional response: Multnomah County updates its site with COVID-19 news and guidance.
Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.
United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.
Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.