MEDFORD, Ore. – Elected officials in 27 of Oregon’s 36 counties have sent a letter to Gov. Kate Brown asking her to reconsider the tighter restrictions set to go into effect Friday.
Several Southern Oregon officials signed the letter, including the all-Republican Jackson Co. Board of Commissioners.
The letter is from the Association of Oregon Counties and the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association. It said Gov. Brown’s metrics are hurting restaurants and other hospitality businesses. It also said they believe restaurants have been taking extra precautions, so there isn’t an outbreak. Even with an expansion of outdoor seating allowed in extreme counties, Jackson Co. Commissioner Rick Dyer said it’s not enough.
“Most restaurants don’t have that capability to expand from 50 to 100. Some don’t have the ability for any outdoor seating at all. So it definitely leaves out especially the small locally-owned restaurants that don’t have that capability,” said Commissioner Dyer.
The organization hopes this letter will lead the governor to reconsider. Commissioner Dyer said he thinks the state’s newer metric regarding hospitalizations isn’t right he thinks counties should be judged on their hospital capacities, not statewide ones. He worries many small businesses are already on the brink of closing.