Families practice social distancing at Oregon Coast


Most shops in Seaside were still open on Thursday

SEASIDE, Ore. (KOIN) — Some families escaped to the Oregon Coast this week to practice social distancing as state leaders issued more restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

KOIN 6 News went to Seaside on Thursday to see how the coastal town — a hotspot for tourists under normal circumstances — was holding up.

Most shops in the town were open, including restaurants that offer take-out options. But the bars and eateries that don’t have take-out options were shuttered in accordance with state guidelines.

One business — Pizza Harbor — offers take-out and delivery so is still able to operate, albeit in a limited capacity.

“The public has shown us a lot of love,” said Pizza Harbor owner Elizabeth Marston. “A lot of customers made it a point the first two days to say, ‘We are supporting you.'”

Marston said business has been fairly steady, all things considered. She said other places are trying to offer take-out but aren’t set up for it. Others simply have no option but to close.

“Our hearts go out to the bar owners — we know they are friends and they are done,” she said.

Seaside restaurants & bar status

Most shops in Seaside, Oregon remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, March 19, 2020. (KOIN)

Brian Murphy said he and his family decided to take a trip to Seaside ahead of Spring Break in light of the situation. He noticed “a lot less traffic, even less foot traffic” and said Seaside “feels like a ghost town.”

A Gresham man wanted to get out of town so headed to the coast.

“Wanted to come out to practice social distancing,” said Nicholas Castro. “Wanted time to reflect and have some time at the beach alone.”

Toledo resident Alicia Luna said she decided to take her family to the coast to enjoy the weather and the beach after schools were shut down along with the restaurant she works at.

“Spring Break in Oregon is usually packed. This is really crazy — there is no one here,” Luna said. “Came out to let the waves take it.”

On Monday, Gov. Kate Brown issued a ban on gatherings of more than 25 people and restricted restaurants and bars to offer take-out and delivery only.

The measures are slated to last four weeks.

The governor said no consumption of food or beverages can take place at the establishments under the restriction. Any business that violates the prohibition will be committing a misdemeanor under Oregon law in an emergency situation, Brown said.

KOIN 6 News will update this story later in the day.

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