A Two-Week Freeze, In Hopes of Reining in COVID Cases | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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A Two-Week Freeze, In Hopes of Reining in COVID Cases

Gov. Kate Brown announces increased restrictions, including closure of in-person dining


As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise around Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday a series of measures aimed at containing the virus. A "two-week freeze" goes into effect Wed., Nov. 18, in order to give restaurants, bars and some other businesses time to adapt to the changes.

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"This situation is dangerous and our hospitals have been sounding the alarms. If we want to give Oregon a fighting chance, we must take further measures to flatten the curve and save lives," Brown said. "I know this is hard, and we are weary. But, we are trying to stop this ferocious virus from quickly spreading far and wide. And in Oregon, we actually can do this."

Under the two-week freeze, new restrictions 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 eating and drinking establishments to take-out and delivery only.
- Closing gyms and fitness organizations.
- Closing indoor recreational facilities, museums, indoor entertainment activities, and indoor pools and sports courts.
-Closing zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor entertainment activities, and outdoor pools.
-Limiting grocery stores and pharmacies to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.
-Limiting retail stores and retail malls (indoor and outdoor) to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.
-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 (outdoor visitation permitted for supporting quality of life).

The two-week freeze is in effect through the Thanksgiving holiday, when many would normally be gathering with family and friends, and also engaging in shopping and dining away from home. The measures are scheduled to end Dec. 2—though it's not yet clear whether further measures would happen beyond that, should cases continue to rise statewide. For those in larger population areas, the freeze will extend beyond the two weeks, Brown said.

“Given the data and modeling we are seeing, my public health experts tell me that some counties will need longer to flatten the curve," Brown remarked Friday. "So I want to be very clear that there are some COVID-19 hotspot counties that will likely need to stay in the Freeze for much longer than two weeks. Multnomah County, for example, will be in this Freeze for at least four weeks. Our actions right now, no matter where in the state you live, are critical.

The Source's 2020 Takeout Guide

In Central Oregon, the Source is refreshing its 2020 Takeout Guide listings to help bars and restaurants get the word out about what they're planning during the freeze and beyond. Local establishments can update their own listings by following the instructions on our Takeout Guide page

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. While the pandemic reduced "hobbies" to "aspirations," you can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis. (Progress: slow.)

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