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Gov. Brown says private gatherings limited to 10 people; expands face covering requirements

Governor Kate Brown held a press conference on Monday alongside Oregon Health Authority officials to discuss the 'state of COVID-19 in Oregon.'

Posted: Jul 13, 2020 11:20 AM
Updated: Jul 13, 2020 3:01 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown held a press conference on Monday alongside Oregon Health Authority officials to discuss the "state of COVID-19 in Oregon," outlining two new statewide mandates as cases continue to spike in the state.

"We're here today to sound the alarm," Governor Brown began at Monday's briefing.

OHA has reported some of the highest daily case counts since the outbreak began over the past week — due in part to expanded testing, but with a noted steady increase in the overall positivity rate out of total tests performed.


CLICK HERE to watch the press conference live stream


Last week the agency urged Oregonians to keep private gatherings to less than 10 people; with precautions including social distancing, use of face coverings, and making an effort to hold gatherings outdoors instead of inside.

Brown announced on Monday that she will be issuing a statewide ban on indoor social get-togethers of more than 10 people, putting more force behind the OHA request. The mandate does not apply to businesses or churches "at this time," Brown said.

Despite the rule on private gatherings, Brown said that she will not "set up the party police" — meaning that there will not be any solid mechanisms of enforcement for this rule.

The statewide mandate on face coverings for indoor public spaces will also be expanded to include outdoor spaces when social distancing of six feet can't be maintained, beginning on Wednesday.

"We are at risk of allowing the virus to spiral out of control," Brown said.

The new measures are intended to prevent closing down bars and restaurants again, as states like California and Texas have done. However, Brown said, "nothing is off the table" if cases continue to spike.

“We need to do absolutely everything we can to reduce transmission in ways that do not require us to close down businesses again," said Governor Brown. “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.”

OHA director Patrick Allen said that he agreed with Brown's new mandates, saying that another surge in cases — if accompanied by an increase in hospitalizations — could overwhelm the state's hospital and health care systems. 

Young people represent the vast majority of cases over the past several weeks, Brown said, and Oregon recently marked the second coronavirus-related death of someone in their 30s.

Outbreaks at agricultural and food processing workplaces in rural Oregon have accounted for some of the rise in cases, Brown said, along with some assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and prisons. However, many cases have been linked to private social gatherings.

Allen said that cases have increasingly been linked to holiday family and social gatherings over the past month or more — Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, and a similar spike expected from Independence Day.

A common tendency is for people to set face coverings aside when speaking with close family and friends, said OHA epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger. With case counts on the rise, Sidelinger said that continuing to wear face coverings shows respect for their well-being.

This is a developing story and will be updated with more information from the press conference as they emerge.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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