Governor Tightens Social Distancing Measures, Orders Oregonians to ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’

Amid mounting pressure, to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, Gov. Kate Brown announced stricter social distancing measures and more businesses that must be closed to the public, under the continuing policy she prefers to call “Stay Home, Save Lives.”

The announcement Monday morning included updated orders for individuals, businesses, public organizations and outdoor spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19, directing everyone in Oregon to stay at home “to the maximum extent possible.” The order is effective immediately, and will remain in effect indefinitely.

“We are learning more about this virus and how people react to it every day, not just from a medical standpoint, but from a social and behavioral standpoint,” Gov. Brown said. “I started by asking Oregonians to stay home and practice social distancing. Then I urged the public to follow these recommendations.

Instead, thousands crowded the beaches of our coastal communities, our trails, our parks and our city streets, potentially spreading COVID-19 and endangering the lives of others across the state. Now, I’m ordering it. To save lives and protect our community.”

She said the social distancing measures she has put in place are the “most effective way to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus.” But she has also enacted measures aimed at increasing hospital capacity and conserving personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and gowns.

“All of these things add up, and by slowing the infection rate, we preserve hospital beds so that there will be one available if and when you need it,” she said. “None of us have ever been through this before, and that means there is no way to know exactly what lies ahead. We don’t know yet when this outbreak will end, or what changes this will bring for our state and for our country. But I want to make sure that we’ve done all we can to end it as quickly as possible.”

According to the governor’s latest order, and this write-up by The Oregonian:

These businesses may stay open:

Bars, restaurants and cafes – for take-out food or delivery orders only

Childcare facilities with a limit of 10 children. Priority must be given to children of medical or emergency responders

Doctor’s offices, health care facilities and emergency services

Grocery stores

Offices, though employees should be allowed to telecommute as much as possible

Pharmacies

Cannabis and liquor stores

These businesses must close:

Amusement parks (including indoor amusements such as laser tag and jumping gyms)

Aquariums

Arcades

Art galleries

Boutiques and jewelry shops

Bowling alleys

Childcare facilities that cannot limit children to 10

Dance studios

Furniture stores

Gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios

Hair salons and barbershops

Malls, both indoor and outdoor

Museums

Nail and tanning salons

Playgrounds, sport courts, skate parks and other outdoor recreation facilities, unless “they can adhere to social distancing guidelines” of at least six feet away from other individuals

Senior centers

Social and private clubs

Spas

Skating rinks

Tattoo parlors

Theaters

Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health and subject to a Class C misdemeanor, the news release from the governor’s office said.

A complete list of the affected businesses (page 4), plus lots of other information, may be found in the governor’s full executive order here.

Other retail businesses will not be able to continue to operate unless they can implement strict social distancing measures and designate an employee or officer charged with ensuring compliance. Retail businesses able to adapt to take-out style shopping experiences can also remain open. If businesses can have employees work from home, then they must do so.

Many of the businesses outlined in the order have voluntarily closed their doors already, to do their part to protect Oregon’s communities. In addition, non-retail businesses like manufacturers and the construction industry must ensure that their employees are maintaining social distancing measures.

The governor also ordered state executive branch offices and buildings to close to the public and provide public services by phone to the extent possible. When public services require in-person interactions, the order requires social distancing measures to be implemented and enforced. State agencies must also facilitate telework and work-at-home for state employees whenever possible.

While the order does not apply to local, federal, or tribal governments, those governments are strongly encouraged to follow these directives. The order also directs state agencies to close parks and other outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained — expanding on actions already taken by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

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