‘The ice has begun to crack’: Brown announces new COVID-19 rules

Coronavirus

Imposes new series of rules, including face coverings for kids over 5

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregonians are going to have a new series of rules to follow as the state continues to fight against an increase in COVID-19 cases, including expanding its face covering requirement to include children ages 5 and up, Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday.

“The ice has begun to crack,” Brown said, adding the new steps need to be taken to make sure residents “don’t fall through the crack.”

“It’s time for further actions to stop the spread of the disease,” she said. “When we see the numbers rise we must respond in turn.”

The new rules are effective Friday, July 24, statewide:

  1. Expanding face covering requirement to include younger children. Children over 5 must wear face coverings indoors and outdoors when distancing isn’t possible.
  2. People must wear face coverings in gyms, even while exercising.
  3. Lowering gathering size limits for indoor venues, such as bars and restaurants, churches from maximum of 250 down to 100. Outdoor venue cap is 250.
  4. In Phase 2 counties, service at restaurants must end at 10 pm instead of midnight.

OHA: Masks required statewide

Brown also said the Oregon Education Department is expected to release new guidelines on Wednesday afternoon, and she will be updating the county watch list as well on Wednesday.

She said she is considering banning incoming travel from states with widespread infections, or implementing a mandatory quarantine for visitors from those states.

Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state’s epidemiologist, continued his calls for Oregonians to wear face masks during his remarks.

“This is the job of every single person in Oregon, and we all have to keep at it,” Dr. Sidelinger said. “We hope we will continue to see more and more Oregonians heeding this advice.”

Brown told KOIN 6 News earlier this week that places where people are congregating is where the virus is seen to be spreading. Last week she banned indoor gatherings of more than 10 people and ordered a mask mandate for everyone outside if they can’t stay at least 6 feet away from others.

The governor said a closure will depend not just on a continued increase in people infected by the virus but other factors that would lead to closures.

During the Wednesday press conference, Brown addressed recent protests in downtown Portland and the federal authorities’ use of force.

“I am talking to Mayor Wheeler and other local elected officials as well as community leaders about what’s happening in Portland. As far as my thoughts, the property destruction and arson need to stop, it is a distraction to the incredibly important message,” she said.

Brown repeated her earlier statements that she has asked the federal authorities to “go home.”

“I know that Oregonians are outraged, Americans should be appalled.”

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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