PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Starting Friday afternoon, people in Umatilla County were back under a stay-at-home order due to a rapid spread of COVID-19.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown made the announcement on Thursday. Umatilla had made it to Phase 2 of Oregon’s road to reopening plan before this setback. According to health officials, the county is seeing a positive infection rate of 23% — which is far above the state average.
“If we do not act immediately, we could see the virus spread even more rapidly, infecting and killing more community members,” Brown said. “I know that this is difficult news for business owners and working families in the region.”
While grocery stores and retail can stay open, personal services like hair salons, barber shops, gyms, youth sports are all shut down. Restaurants are take-out only.
It’s a blow to businesses trying to come back from being shut down in March.
“I am surprised it didn’t happen a couple weeks ago or a week ago,” said Amber Reeder, a Pendleton hair salon manager. “I was in shock last night. It was one week later and back to Baseline, not Phase 1. At least we could be open in Phase 1.”
On Friday, Umatilla County health officials reported another 32 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 2 more deaths, a 58-year-old man and 73-year-old woman. So far, a total of 23 people have died from COVID in Umatilla County.
Morrow County was also moved back to Phase 1. Both of these orders took effect at noon Friday.
The governor of Oregon has also added Multnomah, Marion and Hood River counties to the state’s coronavirus watch list. Both Lincoln and Union counties have been removed from the list.