BROOKINGS, Ore. — In an effort to better enforce the spirit of "Stay Home, Save Live," lodgings on the Southern Oregon coast are now largely off-limits to visitors, reserved instead for essential workers and vulnerable populations.
The City of Brookings adopted a resolution on Thursday for motels, vacation rentals, bed & breakfasts and RV parks, closing them to anyone but those deemed essential.
"During this time, only persons in the trucking industry, victims of domestic violence, health care workers, government workers, first responders and other persons deemed by the City, County or the State to be essential or necessary during the pandemic, persons seeking to use the transient lodging facilities to responsibly quarantine themselves (if allowed by the TLF owner), and residents within the 97415 zip code will be permitted to rent lodging facilities," the City said.
Any accommodations in the area will have to turn away anyone who does fall into any of those categories.
"The Council understands this crisis is having a profound impact on our local economy and our local businesses," Brookings officials said. "They did not take the adoption of this resolution lightly and felt that adoption was imperative to helping ensure the health and safety of our citizens."
On Friday, Curry County followed suit. The Board of County Commissioners elected to issue near-identical terms to lodgings throughout the county, providing an exception only for long-term lodgers who are already registered for more than 30 days.
"Although . . . the public has been orderd to stay-in-place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Curry County has experienced an influx of people visiting the County, purchasing supplies, camping, vacationing in lodging establishments, and recreating in hot tubs, pools, and on the beaches," the County said in its order, "increasing the potential for positive COVID-19 cases and the loss of necessary resources."
Curry County declared a local state of emergency on March 18, giving them broad authority to enforce these kinds of restrictions.
"Curry County is a rural community possessed with limited emergency medical and healthcare capability, and is determined to follow medical guidance and do everything in their collective power to protect vital community assets during a predicated surge of patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the County said.
Curry County has yet to announced any positive cases of COVID-19 in the area — although that does not necessarily mean that the virus is not already present. Regardless, it's clear that local leaders would prefer to spare their community the risk of receiving it from an influx of visitors.