PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — “The way the cases are rising here in Oregon I think we should shut down, I think we should quarantine, close all non-essential businesses.”
That’s what one young woman told KOIN 6 News Monday night, hours after Governor Kate Brown announced new rules aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
In a press conference, the governor hammered home the need for Oregonians to take personal responsibility because the state is at risk of letting the virus spread out of control.
“We have done so much, we have come so far, we have sacrificed so deeply,” Brown said, but noted the personal sacrifices are far from over.
Brown announced an enhanced face covering rule. Beginning Wednesday people in Oregon are required to wear a mask outdoors if you’re not able to maintain 6 feet of social distance with anyone outside your immediate household.
Oregon will ban indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people. Churches and some businesses are exempt from the rule, Brown said.
“I am mandating that social get togethers like potlucks, birthday parties, dinner parties and book clubs that take place indoors cannot exceed 10 people,” the governor said. “I’m not going to set up the party police. However the proof here will be in the numbers.”
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission and OSHA, who have been checking face covering and social distancing requirements, recently visited over 800 businesses across the state. Brown asked business owners to partner with the state and enforce face covering restrictions.
“We will take steps as appropriate, including fines on businesses that are not complying with the order,” Brown said. “I hope everyone’s stays safe.”
Oregon Health Authority Pat Allen also spoke at the press conference and said people should talk with contact tracers if they’re contacted.
“If you hear from a contact tracer answer his or her call,” Allen said. “Take their advice on how to protect yourself and those around you.”