US Oregon governor announces expanded requirements to slow spread of COVID-19
Governor of the US state of Oregon Kate Brown on Monday announced new requirements for face coverings and limits on social get-togethers in response to the alarming rise in COVID-19 case counts across the state over the last several weeks.
Effective Wednesday, Oregon's face covering requirement will be expanded to apply to outdoor public spaces when six feet of distance cannot be maintained. In addition, indoor social get-togethers of more than 10 people will be prohibited, the announcement said.
According to the announcement, the gathering limit applies only to indoor social get-togethers. This new rule does not change the operation of businesses or churches at this time.
Brown noted that failure to comply with the new requirements would lead to more outbreaks of COVID-19 and more restrictive closures with greater impact on Oregon's economy, communities, health care systems, and families.
"We need to do absolutely everything we can to reduce transmission in ways that do not require us to close down businesses again," she said, adding that "the proof here will be in the numbers. Either people will adhere to this requirement and be a positive force for stopping COVID-19, or I will be forced to take more restrictive measures."
Oregon reported more cases in the past week than in the entire month of May. The last time Oregon had less than 100 cases in a single day was more than a month ago. Half of all cases in Oregon are from people under the age of 40 and one third of all cases are from people under the age of 30, Brown said in a news conference on Monday, noting that people in their 20s and 30s are currently the most likely group to get sick with COVID-19.
"It all depends on you. Your choices determine our future," she said.
As of July 13, there were a total of 12,438 COVID-19 cases in the state including 237 deaths, according to the Oregon Health Authority.