Hundreds rally at Medford City Hall against state COVID-19 restrictions

MEDFORD, Ore. – Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, a group said it wants a return to normalcy. Hundreds of people rallied in front of Medford City Hall Thursday night. Most, not social distancing and not wearing a mask. Something they say was intentional.

“They’re here for a reason, to make a statement saying hey we need to be heard we need a few things changed,” said Ron Converse, Medford resident.

The rally was organized by the owner of Medford’s Hawaiian Hut, Wes Hunt after seeing local business owners struggle through COVID-19 restrictions.

“I felt like it was my job to stick up for the smaller businesses when Hawaiian Hut has thrived off of this,” said Hunt

Many others there agree they want to reopen the state. They want local governments to take a stand. Organizers said they plan on asking Medford City Council to stand against Gov. Kate Brown’s restrictions, similar to Baker City, Oregon. The move is largely procedural and reportedly acknowledges that the city can’t ignore Gov. Brown’s restrictions. It also won’t be able to prevent businesses who flaunt OSHA’s rules from getting fined.

Advocates also have started a petition to Reopen Oregon.

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