Oregon sees sweeping closures amid COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

Closures and cancellation notices came rolling in after Gov. Brown's gathering ban was announced

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Right before a weekend meant to be filled with St. Patrick Day celebrations and end-of-season athletic contests, Oregon is seeing sweeping closures and cancellations after Kate Brown announced a gathering ban of 250 people or more.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a set of new rules meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday night. The governor’s new measures affect large gatherings, schools, workplaces and long-term care and assisted-living facilities. A statement from Brown’s office included the following list:

  1. Large gatherings: All large gatherings over 250 people will be canceled statewide effective immediately for four weeks. A gathering is defined as any event in a space in which appropriate social distancing of a minimum of three feet cannot be maintained. 
  2. Schools: In addition to previous guidance issued on March 8, 2020 to keep schools open, all non-essential school-associated gatherings and group activities should be canceled — such as group parent meetings, field trips, and competitions.
  3. Workplace: Recommended implementation of distancing measures including an increased physical space between employees in offices and worksites, limited in-person meetings, limited travel, and staggered work schedules where possible.
  4. Long-Term Care and Assisted Living: Strict limitations announced this week by the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services remain in place.

After the announcement was made — spectator bans, closures, and cancellation notices came rolling in.

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Multnomah County Libraries

For the first time in modern history, all libraries in Multnomah County will be closed until further notice starting at 6 p.m. Friday, according to county officials.

City of Hillsboro facilities

Brookwood Library, Shute Park Library, Hillsboro Community Senior Center, Shute Park Aquatic & Recreation Center, The Walters Cultural Arts Center, Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve Nature Center and Outdoors In will be closed March 15-29.

Public Events

SOLVE Beach Cleanup

The statewide Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup has been rescheduled for July 5.

Shamrock Run

All Shamrock Run weekend activities have officially been postponed.

Shamrock Run organizers issued a statement March 12 on the status of the event, which said:

“While it is extremely difficult to postpone an event at this late of date, we fully support the Governor’s decisions in the interest of the public’s health and safety. The safety of our participants is paramount and we thank everyone for their patience and understanding over these next 24 hours as we work through our contingency plans and your options.”

Several hours later, another statement was posted on their Facebook page:

Kells Irish Festival

The 2020 Kells Irish Festival has been canceled.

The local favorite will not be offering any activities at their festival tent. Yet, the Irish Pub and Brewery will remain open despite the festival’s cancellation. A new schedule of events happening at the pub will be available online.

“While we are very disappointed that we are unable to hold our 29th annual event, we know this is the right decision for the health and safety of our guests and the community as a whole,” the owning family stated.

Portland Rose Festival

Local schools participating in the Portland Rose Festival has canceled any remaining assemblies and large gatherings, but may still be able to stay on schedule with announcing the new princess. Event organizers are working with schools to decide the best way to move forward.

More updates are expected.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

All events, performances, and programs scheduled at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival from March 12 to April 8 are canceled. Ticketholders are asked to contact the box office starting at 9:30 a.m. March 16 at 800.219.8161 or by emailing boxoffice@osfashland.org. Read more here.

OSF said in a statement:

“The resulting cancellation of various public events will have very real financial consequences for theatres and theatre artists. Nationwide, thousands of theatre professionals’ jobs and healthcare are at stake. Transferring your ticket to a donation or voucher supports OSF during these uncertain times and we appreciate your consideration.”

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn announced March 17 it will delay the start of its 2020 season. Retail shops and the farm stand will remain open for potted tulips and cut flower sales.

Portland Women’s Expo

The Portland Women’s Expo has been postponed.

Event organizers are working with the Oregon Convention Center to find an alternative date. They are unable to issue refunds but will instead issue twice the value of your original purchase, meaning if you bought a single ticket they will now issue you two tickets to the event once it is rescheduled.

Celtic Women Celebration tour

The Celtic Women Celebration tour, originally scheduled to be held at ilani on May 14, has been postponed. Rescheduled tour dates are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, and original tickets will be honored for those events.

Portland Trail Blazers games

The NBA has suspended its season “until further notice” after a Utah Jazz player tested positive March 11 for the coronavirus, a move that came only hours after the majority of the league’s owners were leaning toward playing games without fans in arenas.

Portland Timbers games

Major League Soccer announced the suspension of all games and events for the next 30 days, effectively immediately, March 12. Portland Timbers officials released a statement supporting the suspension.

OSAA Athletics

KOIN 6 News has learned that the remainder of all OSAA Winter State Championships will be canceled until further notice as of March 12.

Local attractions

Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo closed March 17 and will tentatively remain closed through at least April 8.

“Our animals are doing well and we continue to provide them with dedicated, professional care,” Dr. Don Moore, zoo director, said. “All essential life-support and other vital systems continue to operate without disruption as well. We plan ahead for all sort of contingencies, and over the past weeks, we have developed plans to ensure our animals would be well cared for in the event of a disruption due to COVID-19.”

Oregon Coast Aquarium

“We otterly appreciate everyone’s patience in these trying times,” said the Oregon Coast Aquarium in a Facebook post on Friday that declared the closure of its facilities. The aquarium will be closed for two weeks, starting on Sunday, March 15 at 5 p.m. Any events scheduled during this two-week period are also canceled. The Oregon Coast Aquarium referred its customers to their website for further updates.

OMSI

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry — OMSI — will be closed from March 14 through March 31.

While the museum will remain closed to the public, administrative staff and customer service will still be accessible by email (info@omsi.ed) and phone (503.797.4000). For more information and public health resources, please visit www.omsi.edu/covid-19

Portland Art Museum

The Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center will be closed March 14-31. All public programs, tours, field trips, films (including all films and programming for the remainder of the Portland International Film Festival at the Whitsell Auditorium and at partner venues), classes, events, and rental events have already been canceled until April 8. More information here.

Oregon Historical Society

The Oregon Historical Society will be closed from March 14 through March 30. OHS has canceled or postponed all public programs through April 12, 2020 as well as canceled school tours and suspended its traveling trunk program through April 17. Library services, including research inquiries and photo and film reproductions, will also be paused during this period.

Powell’s Books

Powell’s has closed all of its physical store locations for the rest of the month.

“Because at this time we feel that we cannot honor the social distancing guidelines presented by the CDC, we have decided that it is important for us to close our five Portland-area stores, effective immediately.”

Wonder Ballroom concerts

All shows at Wonder Ballroom in Portland have been postponed until April 8.

Spirit Mountain Casino

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde will close Spirit Mountain Casino by 11:59 p.m. on March 18. It will remain closed through April 1.

ilani

The Cowlitz Tribe closed ilani on March 17. The casino will remain closed through the rest of the month.

Community spaces, businesses

Oregon Humane Society

Starting March 16, pet adoptions at Oregon Humane Society will be done by appointment only by calling 503.285.7722. Tours, group volunteers, after-school clubs and school visits have been canceled or suspended through at least April 10. Only those adopting a pet, surrendering an animal, dropping off a pet for spay/neuter surgery or meeting with a trainer should visit the shelter.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro

Boys & Girls Clubs in the Portland metro area will close starting March 16 and reopen April 1. All sports, rentals and events will also be suspended.

Winco Foods

In an effort to keep up with increased demands, Winco Foods announced March 13 that it would be closing various locations between the hours of midnight to 5 a.m. so that shelves could be cleaned and restocked. The store is typically open 24-hours a day.

JINX restaurant and bar

JINX, a popular stop on NE Killingsworth, decided to close their doors over the weekend, citing advice from experts “around the world calling on us to get ahead of this virus.” The business said in a Saturday statement that “we plan on reevaluating the situation on the 1st of April.”

“We are in the business of making people happy and as much as we would love to be a gathering place during these difficult times we feel it would be irresponsible to stay open and potentially spread this illness. It appears that at this point in the disease process days matter.

PBOT revoked permits for these events:

  • St Agatha’s St Patrick’s Day Parade and Event, March 14
  • Shamrock Run, March 15
  • NE St Patrick’s Day Parade, March 15
  • Jake’s Famous Crawfish St. Patrick’s Day, March 17
  • Paddy’s St Patrick’s Day, March 17
  • Punjabi Memorial, March 21
  • Baltimore Woods Native Plant Sale, March 28
  • First Thursday and River Pig Saloon, April 2
  • Bridge to Brews, April 5
  • Union Gospel Mission Easter Brunch, April 12

They will provide refunds for any fees that were already charged to the organizers.

Oregon schools

Portland Community College announced it would not be closing its campus but would be maintaining operations and exercising social distancing. PCC said some services may be impacted or modified. Click here for more details.

Central Catholic High School said they will move to digital learning on Friday until Monday, April 13.

Summit Learning Charter canceled all campus activities, saying all Virtual Instruction will still follow the normal schedule.

University of Oregon

On Wednesday, the University of Oregon announced all their classes will be taught remotely for 3 weeks beginning March 30 — the first day after their Spring Break ends.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University “will move to a higher level of response” beginning Saturday. Officials said campuses and OSU facilities will stay open, final exams for winter term will be done remotely when possible, and “maximum social distancing” will be used when remote teaching and testing isn’t possible.

Also, “non-essential OSU-sponsored travel” is suspended and all OSU employees will be encouraged to work remotely when “responsibilities and duties allow.”

Through at least April 30, OSU events of more than 50 people won’t be permitted if it’s not essential. Events with less than 50 people will use “maximum social distancing.”

University of Portland

Thursday, the University of Portland announced all in-person classes will transition to online instruction beginning March 18. To get ready, there will be no classes for UP students on Monday-Tuesday, March 16-17.

UP also canceled or postponed all events and meetings that attract large crowds, including all athletic activities for the remainder of the spring semester.

NCAA Tournament canceled

The Division 1 men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments — aka, March Madness — were canceled along with all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors made this decision over the evolving coronavirus pandemic.

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WA governor bans crowd of 250+ in Seattle metro

Governor Brown discussed the strategies and answer questions at a Thursday morning press conference in Portland. Watch the full press conference here.

So far, there have been 21 confirmed cases of the infection in Oregon, and more than 1,000 across the United States. The U.S. death toll rose to 38 on Wednesday, with the majority in Washington state at 31; however, none have been reported in Oregon.

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KOIN 6 News will continue updating this story.

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