YREKA, Calif. — If there's anything more contagious than a virus right now, it's rumors about what's going on as a result of one. Many people have been asking whether the border between Oregon and California has been closed, and NewsWatch 12 has found a short and resounding answer — "no."
So many people have asked, in fact, that we've contacted agencies that would have the best idea. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) said "no." California Highway Patrol has repeatedly said "no."
On Thursday evening, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a "stay-at-home" order for the entire state of California in an effort to better contain the COVID-19 coronavirus. Oregon has taken some similarly major steps, though the state is still short of sheltering in place.
Newsom's order effectively closes down dine-in restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, gyms, and public events. It keeps open gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, restaurants doing take-out, banks, laundromats, and any essential government services. It also asks California residents to stay home unless absolutely necessary.
The California order does not say anything about shutting down interstate travel, though the spirit of the order is to restrict all non-essential travel. It also directs the state Office of Emergency Services to "take necessary steps to ensure compliance" with the order, which could be interpreted more broadly.
Regardless, a shutdown of our nearest border is not happening right now. It's also worth noting that the rumor was going around before Gov. Newsom made his Thursday night announcement.
See the California Highway Patrol's posts, below, for more info.