Oregon restaurants push for fewer COVID-19 restrictions

Article Image

Jason Brandt, the CEO of ORLA says the group is calling on the state to ease restrictions adding the science isn’t there to keep restaurants restricted to take out and delivery only.

Posted: Jan 28, 2021 10:37 AM
Updated: Jan 28, 2021 10:38 AM

Click here for updates on this story

PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) -- The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association is calling on the state to lift some restrictions on restaurants and allow them to have indoor dining.

The organization says the restaurants and lodging industries continue to suffer greatly. It points to Oregon Employment Department data that shows leisure and hospitality businesses lost 25,000 jobs in December.

ORLA says changes to restrictions for other industries is welcome news but still thousands of restaurant operators are not assisted by the modifications.

Treva Gambs, owns Gamberetti’s Italian Restaurants in Salem and Albany. She says the last year has been tough.

“I have never seen anything like this, you know, it is devastating,” Gambs said.

She has been in the restaurant industry for 40 years. In an attempt to keep people safe, she and other business owners made changes in order to stay open.

“A lot of them spent money putting in the plexi partitions, did some great renovations and we are punishing them now for doing the right thing,” Gambs said.

She adds there are several challenges and costs associated with the state’s current reopening metric plan that categorizes counties by risk level. She points to food costs, having to discard unused food, employees not having reliable schedules and finding other jobs. Gambs says employees have left to go other places to make money. That adds training costs on her end for new employees. She adds she would like to have a timeline to be better prepared and plan.

“There is nobody not running a business not knowing a timeline, having a plan, having an execution, so this we’ll wait and tell you in two weeks, how do you really try to be successful,” Gambs said.

Jason Brandt, the CEO of ORLA says the group is calling on the state to ease restrictions adding the science isn’t there to keep restaurants restricted to take out and delivery only.

“The vast majority of the states in our country have indoor dining open right now and they are finding ways to really manage the virus in a multifaceted way,” Brandt said.

He says the Oregon food service industry accounts for less than 1% of all workplace outbreaks in the state and 4.7% of Oregon’s overall outbreaks, but operations remain shut down.

“We are disproportionally saddled with economic restrictions that make it virtually impossible for our small businesses to stay in business,” Brandt said.

One thing ORLA would like to see change, a small step, is to allow some sort of indoor dining even if it is at 25% capacity.

“The reason I am so confident in that is because we did have indoor dining across the entire state earlier in 2020 and case counts did remain low during that time,” Brandt said.

For Gambs, she says she is trying to stay hopeful for the future adding if she didn’t have hope she would have already thrown in the towel.

“Those are tough decisions for her to make, I understand I would not want to make life and choice for anybody but I am because we are closing and my staff are, you know how long has it been no rent for them,” Gambs said.

FOX 12 did reach out to the Governor’s Office and OHA for comment and has not heard back.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 205154

Reported Deaths: 2730
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40141612
Washington26650247
Marion23258322
Clackamas18773234
Lane13777158
Jackson11420146
Deschutes994080
Umatilla851786
Linn551779
Klamath475377
Yamhill475079
Polk393755
Douglas379780
Malheur359763
Josephine353272
Benton324022
Jefferson235738
Coos215737
Columbia188829
Union148824
Wasco143429
Lincoln141221
Crook127623
Hood River121533
Morrow115216
Clatsop10318
Baker99315
Curry68510
Tillamook6604
Grant5487
Lake4667
Harney4239
Wallowa1945
Gilliam751
Sherman661
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3803094

Reported Deaths: 63204
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124643624433
Riverside3013294620
San Bernardino2990144788
San Diego2813133770
Orange2727455103
Santa Clara1199462177
Kern1106171400
Sacramento1073951723
Fresno1027951720
Alameda893401285
Ventura815721028
San Joaquin744191432
Contra Costa70358810
Stanislaus632661068
Tulare49758849
Monterey43804420
San Mateo42611581
San Francisco37197555
Santa Barbara34577460
Solano33625266
Merced32272474
Sonoma30688323
Imperial28800741
Placer23383299
Kings23170247
San Luis Obispo21411261
Madera16590245
Santa Cruz16206208
Marin14184229
Yolo14120212
Shasta12599232
Butte12586194
El Dorado10351116
Napa999580
Sutter9628112
Yuba646150
San Benito610263
Lassen577524
Tehama571663
Nevada488375
Humboldt443446
Mendocino428250
Tuolumne419970
Amador372147
Lake355645
Glenn242527
Siskiyou239037
Colusa227918
Calaveras220156
Del Norte14528
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7356
Modoc5344
Mariposa4647
Trinity4175
Sierra1130
Alpine890
Unassigned370
Medford
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 73°
Brookings
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 62°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 73°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 73°
Klamath Falls
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 65°

Tonight: Today was our first dry day in a while, although we can't rule out a stray shower or thunderstorm popping up in extreme northern portions of Lake or Klamath counties. Models are hinting that most of this should stay to our north, towards the Bend area. Any lingering clouds today will quickly dissipate by the evening. However, it could prove to be a breezy night in portions of Siskiyou County. Low temperatures will drop down to the upper 30s to low 40s in Northern California, the Klamath Basin, and in the Cascades. Along the coast and in the Rogue Valley, lows will be in the upper 40s to low 50s.

Tomorrow: Our Wednesday will be substantially warmer compared to our Tuesday. Relief from the heat in the form of cloud cover will be absent. High temperatures will be in the upper 80s to low 90s in the Rogue Valley and in Northern California. Highs will be in the mid 80s in the Klamath Basin, mid 70s in the Cascades, and in the upper 60s to low 70s along the coast. The breezy conditions in Siskiyou County from tonight will carry over into Wednesday, and gusts could reach 25 mph in some coastal communities as well. 

Extended: Thursday will be even hotter than Wednesday, and it'll just be a continuation of the stale weather pattern we're about to be in. Skies should remain clear for the forseeable future, and blistering heat looks to be in store for the weekend. We could be talking about high temperature in the upper 90s to triple digits in the Rogue Valley and Siskiyou County. Highs could be in the 90s in the Klamath Basin, in the 80s in the Cascades, and in the 70s along the coast.

Most of the beneficial rain that fell over the weekend was concentrated over the coast, meaning that drought conditions probably didn't improve much in the Rogue Valley and points eastward. As we stay dry and hot throughout the rest of the week, we'll be watching for the return of favorable fire conditions, especially in Lake County. The good news is that winds appear to be light towards the end of the week, which should limit the wildfire threat to some degree.

A FREEZE WARNING has been issued for our westside valleys in Jackson, Josephine and Curry Counties until 8 AM Wednesday. Low temperatures in these areas will fall down to near and even below freezing overnight. The coldest temperatures will be in the Applegate and Illinois Valley where temperatures could dip into the upper 20s. With widespread frost and possible freezing temperatures, be sure to protect and cover any sensitive plants.
Tonight: The clear and warm day will give way to a clear and mild evening. Temperatures for inland areas this evening will stay solidly in the 50s and 60s through the 8 P.M. hour, meaning this will be a near picture perfect evening for a barbecue or Wednesday evening walk. Overnight low temperatures will also stay more mild than recently, falling into the mid to upper 30s in our westside valleys with mid to upper 20s east of the Cascades. The coast will see temperatures staying in the 40s through the overnight hours. 
Extended: Beyond Wednesday, we'll see a very gradual and slow cooling trend through the rest of the workweek, but temperatures will remain above average. Easter Weekend will start off dry, but clouds will increase and by Easter Sunday, we could be looking at some chances for rain for at least parts of our region. We'll be keeping a close eye on this system and your holiday weekend forecast. It's possible wet weather could continue into next week with cooler temperatures.

Stay updated on the StormWatch 12 forecast on-air and online.

KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events