PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury announced a new campaign with a clear message on Friday: “Stay home, stay healthy.”
“We are standing here together on the eve of Spring Break with a very important message for Oregonians: social distancing, done well, and done early, saves lives,” said Brown. “We have agreed on a plan called ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ which is both an order and a public awareness campaign. We have put into place aggressive social distancing orders to protect you, our neighbors, and our most vulnerable Oregonians.”
Kafoury emphasized that while people can go outside, they must maintain a safe distance from anyone outside their immediate circle. She compared the “6-feet apart” rule to roughly the length of a bicycle.
“Please stay close to home,” said Kafoury. “This is not the spring break that any of us were expecting, but we are in a moment where temporary disappointment and inconvenience are the price that we pay for health and safety.”
While they are not using the term “shelter-in-place,” the directive has the same meaning: Stay home as much as possible and engage in social distancing.
“You’ve heard and read the term ‘shelter-in-place’ and what we’ve learned is that the term is not clear and it’s often confusing to people,” said Wheeler during the Friday evening briefing. “It makes people think of lockdowns for earthquakes and natural disasters and the like—that’s not what this is. I want to emphasize this: this is not a lockdown. This will be a ‘stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary’ order.”
He went on to say that people can still go to the grocery store, walking the dogs, get gas and take a hike. Wheeler and other local leaders said they will be working through the weekend on the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” directive and planned to bring more details to the public on Monday.
“In the meanwhile, use common sense. Observe social distancing when you’re out. This is a time for all of us to rise to the challenge,” Wheeler.
Watch the full press conference here: