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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.

Cases: 72506

Reported Deaths: 896
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah16587234
Washington1013599
Marion9082139
Clackamas602377
Umatilla432549
Lane425042
Jackson376830
Malheur238742
Deschutes229115
Yamhill169616
Linn139222
Polk121416
Douglas92118
Klamath8444
Jefferson81411
Benton7847
Union7796
Morrow6547
Lincoln61615
Wasco52419
Josephine5234
Columbia4883
Coos4213
Hood River3961
Clatsop3590
Baker2783
Crook2196
Grant1341
Curry1332
Tillamook1260
Lake1241
Harney991
Wallowa713
Gilliam230
Sherman230
Wheeler30
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1200624

Reported Deaths: 19116
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3908917623
San Bernardino921641129
Riverside857691437
San Diego80018997
Orange767611577
Kern40632448
Fresno37994481
Sacramento36579566
Santa Clara33732476
Alameda29116511
San Joaquin25741502
Contra Costa23571261
Stanislaus21585424
Tulare20634308
Ventura19379175
Imperial15960356
San Francisco15377160
Monterey14753116
San Mateo14148170
Sonoma12049157
Merced11550179
Santa Barbara11340135
Kings1068787
Solano1004481
Marin7704129
Placer635468
San Luis Obispo612936
Madera605085
Yolo473775
Shasta471847
Santa Cruz435828
Butte389459
Sutter314415
Napa298817
El Dorado23154
Yuba198110
San Benito186516
Lassen17733
Tehama164925
Mendocino148522
Nevada11849
Tuolumne9818
Lake90919
Glenn8918
Humboldt8509
Colusa6946
Siskiyou6242
Amador55416
Mono5453
Calaveras47822
Del Norte3131
Inyo29016
Plumas2050
Trinity1580
Modoc1310
Mariposa1302
Alpine500
Sierra190
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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Crater Lake
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Grants Pass
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Klamath Falls
Clear
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Hi: 50° Lo: 20°
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Few showers on Monday
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