Oregon faces more shutdowns, ban on indoor dining for 15 counties
When the coronavirus pandemic hit the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington, their governors quickly reacted with shutdowns. Now they are about to impose new restrictions again as infections and hospitalizations rise.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will put 15 counties encompassing the state’s biggest cities into the state’s ‘extreme risk’ category starting Friday. Furthermore, nine counties will be in the High Risk level, four at Moderate Risk, and eight at Lower Risk.
According to the statement released by Governor Brown, “Counties will stay in Extreme Risk for a maximum of three weeks, and will be able to move to a lower risk level sooner if their COVID-19 case rates are brought down in the intervening weeks, or if Oregon moves below 300 statewide hospitalizations or the seven-day hospitalization average percent increase goes below 15 percent.”
Restrictions of the ‘extreme risk’ counties include banning indoor restaurant dining.
As Brown issued her order on Tuesday, she said rising COVID-19 hospitalizations threaten to overwhelm doctors.
The new shutdown will affect some of Oregon’s biggest cities – including Portland, Salem, Bend and Eugene.
“If we don’t act now, doctors, nurses, hospitals and other health care providers in Oregon will be stretched to their limits treating severe cases of COVID-19,” Brown said in a statement Tuesday. “Today’s announcement will save lives and help stop COVID-19 hospitalizations from spiking even higher.”
Plus, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to order new restrictions next week for several counties, likely including the state’s largest. His restrictions would force businesses and churches to reduce indoor capacity.