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Gov. Brown calls for 'yellow light' on reopening Oregon after spike in COVID-19 cases

Governor Kate Brown hit the pause button on counties looking to enter new phases of reopening as cases in the state continue a sustained rise.

Posted: Jun 12, 2020 9:14 AM
Updated: Jun 12, 2020 9:20 AM

PORTLAND, Ore.  — Governor Kate Brown on Thursday called for a "yellow light" in Oregon's reopening process as several counties see a continued spike in new coronavirus cases — essentially pressing the pause button on a handful counties that have working toward a new phase over the last several weeks.

Thursday saw the state's largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases since the outbreak began — in part due to expanded testing, but state officials have seen increased transmission rates as a sign for increased caution.

“The noticeable increase in COVID-19 infections in Oregon over the past week is cause for concern," Brown said. “In order to ensure that the virus is not spreading too quickly, I am putting all county applications for further reopening on hold for seven days. This is essentially a statewide 'yellow light.' It is time to press pause for one week before any further reopening."

The Governor scheduled a press conference for Friday morning at 9 a.m. to interface with the press about these latest developments


CLICK HERE to watch the Governor's press conference live


Oregon's populous Multnomah County applied to enter Phase I this week, while Hood River, Marion, and Polk counties had applied to enter Phase II. All four county applications have now been "put on hold for one week," the Governor's office said.

State public health officials have been alarmed by an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in both urban and rural communities around the state. In Multnomah County, more than 40 percent of new cases in the last week could not be traced to a source.

Hood River County has seen an increase in new cases, many linked to several workplace outbreaks that are happening simultaneously. Marion County saw a nearly 40 percent increase in cases over the past week, in addition to a rise in hospital admissions due to the virus. Polk County has seen an increase in cases and a workplace outbreak.

Oregon Health Authority director Patrick Allen called the decision "a reminder, not a rollback." Allen said that there was not yet any information linking new cases to recent demonstrations throughout the state following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“This one week pause will give public health experts time to assess what factors are driving the spread of the virus and determine if we need to adjust our approach to reopening. I will work with doctors and public health experts to determine whether to lift this pause or extend it or make other adjustments," Brown said.

“I want to remind the public that there are very simple precautions each of us should take to reduce the spread of the disease: Avoid large gatherings," she continued. "Wear a face covering. Stay six feet apart. Wash your hands, cover your cough and stay home when you are sick.”

Twenty-nine of Oregon's 36 counties, including all southern Oregon counties, remain in Phase II. Though there have been new cases in many of these counties, nothing about their reopening status has changed at this time.  

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 65170

Reported Deaths: 820
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah14988210
Washington881596
Marion8321127
Clackamas535376
Umatilla409948
Lane382037
Jackson335623
Malheur230839
Deschutes191114
Yamhill156516
Linn126018
Polk105115
Douglas80415
Jefferson76511
Benton7097
Union6912
Klamath6854
Morrow6197
Lincoln56313
Wasco47218
Josephine4314
Columbia4223
Coos3831
Hood River3611
Clatsop3330
Baker2573
Crook1906
Grant1221
Tillamook1110
Curry1052
Lake980
Harney861
Wallowa702
Sherman230
Gilliam210
Wheeler20
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1114524

Reported Deaths: 18726
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3645207438
San Bernardino845311129
Riverside806761400
San Diego71648968
Orange696941554
Kern38316445
Fresno35973471
Sacramento33133546
Santa Clara30676463
Alameda27485499
San Joaquin24649503
Contra Costa22412258
Stanislaus20370416
Tulare19752303
Ventura18040174
Imperial15053353
San Francisco14445158
Monterey13886113
San Mateo13203169
Sonoma11428155
Merced10986176
Santa Barbara10922133
Kings1003886
Solano934980
Marin7518128
Placer577867
Madera571480
San Luis Obispo561835
Yolo419975
Shasta409542
Santa Cruz389827
Butte366459
Napa275717
Sutter263813
El Dorado19304
San Benito174115
Yuba173210
Lassen14803
Tehama143523
Mendocino138522
Nevada10189
Lake83218
Glenn8296
Humboldt7309
Tuolumne7088
Colusa6426
Mono4993
Siskiyou4951
Amador45016
Calaveras43421
Inyo28316
Del Norte2731
Plumas1770
Trinity1130
Modoc1110
Mariposa1042
Alpine420
Sierra170
Unassigned00
Medford
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