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: 359733

Reported Deaths: 4295
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah56103709
Washington39002324
Marion37013454
Clackamas29983309
Lane27945302
Jackson23165310
Deschutes20559125
Umatilla14521150
Linn13048131
Douglas12196250
Josephine9430197
Yamhill8752113
Klamath8081119
Polk740581
Malheur565278
Benton555331
Coos507894
Columbia386044
Jefferson379553
Lincoln324239
Union321149
Crook293946
Wasco291141
Clatsop244728
Baker204129
Tillamook197932
Hood River194737
Morrow185723
Curry181325
Harney114427
Grant100213
Lake94812
Wallowa69312
Gilliam1564
Sherman1523
Wheeler1101
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4855616

Reported Deaths: 71443
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148576926552
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3682674196
San Bernardino3586775720
Orange3251235578
Sacramento1596362313
Kern1472941652
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921415
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus867381338
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924354
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766788
Lassen761848
San Benito744974
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa137017
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
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