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'We have reached our turning point': County commissioners, restaurant reps lobby Gov. Brown to lift restrictions

Dozens of Oregon county commissioners, joined by the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, signed a letter to Governor Brown decrying the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions.

Posted: Apr 29, 2021 11:45 AM
Updated: Apr 29, 2021 12:03 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Dozens of Oregon county commissioners, several judges, and the head of Oregon's restaurant lobby signed a letter addressed to Governor Kate Brown this week, urging her to reconsider the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions.

All three commissioners in both Jackson and Klamath counties signed onto the letter, in addition to two commissioners from Lake County. 27 of Oregon's 36 counties are represented on the letter by at least one elected official, joined by Jason Brandt, president and CEO of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association.

After Oregon surpassed 300 COVID-19 patients hospitalized throughout the state, Governor Brown announced on Tuesday that 15 Oregon counties would move to Extreme Risk status on Friday — mandating the closure of indoor dining in those counties, in addition to greatly reduced capacity at most other businesses and venues.

The letter to Governor Brown, dated April 27, posits that COVID-19 super-spreader events in Oregon have not been tied to the hospitality industry, in part because most restaurants and other businesses have followed the state's general health and safety guidelines prompted by the pandemic.

"The variants are indeed troublesome, and we share your concern for their spread," the letter reads. "But shutting down our restaurants and further depriving Oregonians of their right to make calculated community engagement risks when the virus continues to spread elsewhere will not result in success."

The signatories ask Brown to put "all effort and momentum" toward vaccinations, letting businesses operate under the Oregon Health Authority's industry-specific safety guidelines without shutting down indoor dining at restaurants.

"You must know restrictions on specific types of businesses compared to others within our local communities is creating rifts and dividing people rather than bringing Oregonians together," the letter concludes. "We can flip the script by removing state mandated business restrictions on our communities while empowering our county health departments to uphold high expectations for ongoing health and safety measures as recommended by the CDC.

"We have reached our turning point and we thank you in advance for your consideration."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 391099

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60298839
Washington41981395
Marion39886506
Clackamas32773378
Lane30113355
Jackson24880360
Deschutes23557185
Umatilla15126180
Linn14637179
Douglas13375291
Josephine10148244
Yamhill9762143
Klamath9053146
Polk8212100
Benton609738
Malheur592487
Coos5664106
Columbia430455
Jefferson420266
Lincoln362152
Union338755
Crook334056
Wasco316146
Clatsop261835
Baker219833
Tillamook216645
Hood River213737
Morrow197525
Curry191939
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105416
Wallowa75713
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5083462

Reported Deaths: 74473
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152713227166
San Diego4069274335
Riverside3876785358
San Bernardino3745435962
Orange3343985725
Sacramento1683542443
Kern1576621804
Fresno1567952254
Santa Clara1520891925
Alameda1251761504
San Joaquin1075591834
Ventura1040031190
Contra Costa1037721046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare860871096
San Francisco56909669
San Mateo56320629
Monterey52488626
Solano47671357
Santa Barbara47293549
Merced45053667
Sonoma43168412
Placer42141470
Imperial38477773
Kings35206363
San Luis Obispo31476359
Madera26194311
Shasta26081451
Butte25455314
Santa Cruz22248224
Yolo21558257
Marin18465249
El Dorado18301166
Sutter14571186
Napa13420104
Yuba1076089
Tehama10275130
Humboldt10158119
Nevada10019105
Mendocino857197
Lassen796756
San Benito781578
Tuolumne773090
Lake7043110
Amador577366
Siskiyou474755
Glenn457436
Calaveras441588
Del Norte375542
Colusa325220
Inyo256646
Plumas19367
Mono18784
Mariposa160018
Trinity99717
Modoc7655
Unassigned3220
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
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