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.

Cases: 175592

Reported Deaths: 2460
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah35068568
Washington23492229
Marion20261299
Clackamas15451204
Lane11656144
Jackson9938127
Umatilla796883
Deschutes717272
Linn417563
Yamhill411675
Klamath349059
Polk345752
Malheur342858
Josephine306662
Douglas304965
Benton273318
Jefferson207332
Coos197831
Columbia155126
Union141624
Lincoln130520
Wasco129928
Hood River112729
Morrow107915
Clatsop8998
Crook88119
Baker86114
Curry5959
Tillamook5823
Lake4137
Grant4124
Harney3066
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam561
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3720901

Reported Deaths: 61045
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122932823648
Riverside2973194528
San Bernardino2948834556
San Diego2751123674
Orange2690364896
Santa Clara1171862017
Kern1078791322
Sacramento1015111646
Fresno1006211646
Alameda854811477
Ventura803091000
San Joaquin715271334
Contra Costa67101782
Stanislaus605131030
Tulare49414831
Monterey43267357
San Mateo41201560
San Francisco36073525
Santa Barbara33913446
Solano32027239
Merced31267452
Sonoma29715311
Imperial27991719
Kings22777245
Placer21878283
San Luis Obispo20972257
Madera16277239
Santa Cruz15615204
Marin13865226
Yolo13562200
Shasta11722218
Butte11591196
El Dorado9777109
Napa968079
Sutter9292109
Yuba611044
San Benito598963
Lassen567324
Tehama543056
Nevada447775
Tuolumne408164
Mendocino398747
Amador362746
Humboldt362138
Lake341343
Glenn235825
Colusa219916
Calaveras206051
Siskiyou195921
Inyo141738
Del Norte12887
Mono12744
Plumas6936
Modoc4904
Mariposa4267
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned510
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