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Oregon coronavirus measures include banning 'large gatherings' of more than 250 people

Governor Brown's office sent out an initial statement on the new rules on Wednesday night before holding a press conference the next morning.

Posted: Mar 12, 2020 10:40 AM
Updated: Mar 12, 2020 10:52 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Even prior to Governor Kate Brown's announcement of "urgent new rules" on Wednesday night, concerns about the spread of COVID-19 prompted a slow wave of cancelled or postponed events across the state of Oregon.

The Governor's announcement, however, made those precautions explicit — and in some cases, mandatory. She joined Oregon public health officials in holding a press conference on Thursday morning to outline the measures against new coronavirus.


Governor Kate Brown convenes the Coronavirus Response Team (Gov. Kate Brown Press Office / My Oregon News).

Large gatherings

Under the new rules in Oregon, all large gatherings of more than 250 people will be barred for at least the next four weeks.

"A gathering is defined as any event in a space in which appropriate social distancing of a minimum of three feet cannot be maintained," Governor Brown's office said.

NewsWatch 12 is in the ongoing process of updating an article with all cancelled or postponed events in our region. The OSAA announced on Wednesday that it would not allow fans into arenas during the tournament games this week, and the NBA has suspended its regular season.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced the cancellation of all shows for Thursday, March 12 alone, with more plans forthcoming.

Schools & Work

On the other hand, schools are to be kept open. However, the state advises against all "non-essential school-associated gatherings" and group activities — including group parent meetings, field trips, and competitions.

In the workplace, businesses are asked to take "distancing measures" to increase the physical space between employees in offices and worksites. They are asked to limit all in-person meetings, travel, and to stagger work schedules whenever possible.

Long-term care and assisted living

Governor Brown's office announced earlier this week strict limitations on long-term care and assisted living facilities to restrict visitation down to only essential people, and screen visitors for COVID-19 symptoms. Many senior living facilities had already started to take similar precautions after a facility in the Seattle area became the epicenter of a fatal outbreak.

“Nobody is immune to this virus, it can touch everyone,” said Governor Brown. “We can’t let fear and anxiety stigmatize people. We are seeing cases across multiple counties and age groups, and in people exposed through different circumstances. It’s time for us all to do what we can to slow its spread and take care of one another.”

What's next?

Brown's office said that it had submitted an updated request to Vice President Mike Pence, outlining Oregon's needs from the federal government to support coronavirus response efforts in Oregon, as well as anticipated future needs.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Health Authority announced new steps to expand access to COVID-19 testing.

"State epidemiologists have updated COVID-19 testing guidelines to emphasize that outpatient clinicians can order a test for the virus from a commercial laboratory, at their discretion, without OHA authorization," Brown's office said. "In addition, the procedure for collecting a COVID-19 sample is no longer classified as a high-risk, airborne testing process, requiring N95 masks."

Under the new recommendations, health care providers will only be required to wear a regular mask, gown, gloves, and eye protections — making the procedure for safely collecting samples "simpler to administer for health care workers and easier to obtain for patients."

State health officials said that they also have made agreements with five hospital systems to conduct COVID-19 testing, although the state has not yet revealed which hospitals. Anyone considering getting tested is asked to consult with a health care provider before showing up at a clinic or hospital to request one.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 174501

Reported Deaths: 2460
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34800568
Washington23412229
Marion20116299
Clackamas15311204
Lane11554144
Jackson9904127
Umatilla796883
Deschutes708272
Linn414263
Yamhill408775
Klamath345259
Polk342952
Malheur342758
Josephine305462
Douglas304365
Benton273218
Jefferson206432
Coos196831
Columbia153826
Union141124
Lincoln129820
Wasco128928
Hood River112429
Morrow107915
Clatsop8918
Crook87819
Baker85614
Curry5939
Tillamook5803
Lake4137
Grant4064
Harney3056
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam561
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3716579

Reported Deaths: 60994
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122864123628
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2945774550
San Diego2748113674
Orange2688694891
Santa Clara1169712013
Kern1078251322
Sacramento1010581646
Fresno1005001643
Alameda852561477
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa66927782
Stanislaus603831028
Tulare49383830
Monterey43267357
San Mateo41107560
San Francisco35993517
Santa Barbara33863446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29679311
Imperial27962719
Kings22766245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16250239
Santa Cruz15554204
Marin13860226
Yolo13559199
Shasta11677217
Butte11549196
El Dorado9719109
Napa965479
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito598263
Lassen566924
Tehama543056
Nevada444775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador362151
Humboldt358737
Lake340643
Glenn235525
Colusa219816
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4247
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned330
Medford
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