State senators react to potential Oregon state travel plan

MEDFORD, Ore. — Questions still remain about one week after Oregon governor Kate Brown’s office told lawmakers about possible travel restriction’s in the state.

“I hope it doesn’t come to a travel ban. The Rogue Valley is highly tourist-dependent and depends on commerce from California but let’s get real about this the economy is not going to recover unless we get a lot better handle on this pandemic,” Ashland State Senator, Jeff Golden (D) said.

In early August, Governor Brown told state senators she was exploring the idea of adding travel restrictions in Oregon. While that plan is still up in the air, senators on both sides have some concerns.
“I hope everyone understands it would be drastic, but if the science is there that this could be an important element to bring down the numbers that’s what you do to get the economy back on track,” Golden said.
“Shutting down travel between or and other states or even between Klamath county and Marion county or even Linn county,” Klamath Falls State Senator, Dennis Linthicum (R) said. “It just doesn’t seem like it’s worth the cost, or time and money. It just seems out of balance.”
The governor’s office says nothing is for certain. A statement from a representative says that conversations are ongoing, and “travel restrictions would be complex to implement and enforce.” It added, “we are discussing issuing safe travel guidelines with other western states so travelers across our region are receiving the same information”. But, there is still no real clarity on what these restrictions would even look like.

“I could save lives within state highways within the state of Oregon by simply banning travel, on the other side of that how would I implement that,” Linthicum said. “At what cost to turn all that off, and then what harm or opportunities lost would come from all of those travel opportunities.”

The Governor’s office says it’s still asking health experts at the Oregon Health Authority and Medical Advisory Panel before any policy decisions are made for travel.

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