In a last-ditch attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 before a looming second round of statewide shutdowns, Gov. Kate Brown announced a reformed set of guidelines in a Wednesday morning press conference.
Gov. Brown noted that despite existing guidelines and widespread lifestyle adjustments, the virus is continuing to spread far too rapidly across the state of Oregon.
-Expanding face covering requirements to include younger children, ages 5 and older. Everyone over the age of 5 must wear a face covering indoors, or outdoors if social distancing guidelines cannot be maintained. Children ages 2-5 are recommended to wear a mask, though this is not a requirement.
-As of July 24, there will be no exceptions when it comes to indoor face covering requirements. Yoga studios, cycling gyms and the like must require patrons to wear a mask the entire time they are indoors.
-Beginning Friday, all bars and restaurants must complete service by 10pm (rather than midnight).
-Large indoor venues, such as places of worship and indoor event arenas, must reduce their occupancy from 200 patrons down to 100. The outdoor venue cap will be maintained at 250.
- In an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, Gov. Brown issued new guidelines that go into effect Friday—including having kids 5 and above wear face masks in public places.
“I don’t make these decisions lightly, and there are no easy choices,” Gov. Brown said during the press conference. “It is up to all of us to do our part to protect one another.”
Gov. Brown also noted that the Oregon Department of Education would be updating guidelines within the next several days, and that she is currently speaking with neighboring states about ways to effectively minimize tourism. She announced that the County Watchlist will be updated soon, as some counties have successfully slowed the spread while others will be added to the list.
She concluded by announcing that if case numbers continued to rise, she would be left with no choice but to implement more strict public safety measures.
“Your choices determine our future,” she said. “If we don’t slow the spread of the virus, I will have no choice but to force widespread and difficult closures once again.”
As of Wednesday morning, the Oregon Health Authority reports 15,139 total cases, 269 deaths and 237 hospitalizations.
Deschutes County currently has 378 confirmed COVID-19 cases.