Oregon Governor Kate Brown announces one month long restrictions on gatherings

PORTLAND, Ore. – Ahead of a planned news conference Thursday, Governor Kate Brown made a statewide announcement on new rules aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus.

The measures are based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the next four weeks, the Governor is ordering large gatherings canceled, statewide, effective immediately. In the release, a gathering is described as any group over 250 people where the event space cannot maintain a three feet minimum distance between each individual.

According to earlier guidance provided this week, school can stay open. However, the orders from the Governor’s office state that all non-essential school associated gatherings and group activities should be cancelled. These would include field trips, competitions, and group parent meetings.

In the workplace, businesses are urged to implement distancing measures to create additional space between employees. The Governor’s orders also state that in-person meetings and travel should be limited, and work schedules staggered where possible.

The Oregon Health Authority issued new limitations for long term and assisted care facilities. Nursing, assisted living and residential care facilities are told to:

  • Restrict visitation to only essential visitors.
  • Limit visitors to two at a time per person.
  • Screen visitors for symptoms of the novel coronavirus.
  • Document who comes to visit.
  • Limit community outings.
  • Find other ways to support visitation.

“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.”

The Oregon Health Authority is also working to expand access to testing for the virus. This will include allowing outpatient clinicians to test for the virus without OHA authorization. The process to get a sample is also becoming lest strict, allowing health care providers to administer the test while wearing a regular mask, gown, gloves and eye protection. Anyone considering a COVID-19 test should consult with their health care provider before seeking that test at a clinic or hospital.

The Governor is holding a press conference Thursday. You can count on NBC5 News for the latest updates.

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