Kate Brown to loosen Oregon’s multiple COVID-19 restrictions: Bars and restaurants may open for outdoor dining next week

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday that she was imposing several restrictions on bars, restaurants, gyms, stores and religious organizations just a week ago to prevent the unprecedented, out-of-control proliferation of COVID-19.

From Thursday, December 3, Brown’s restrictions will be lifted in Oregon counties that are not as tough by coronoviruses.

But most of Brown’s restrictions will likely still remain at 3 as of December 21 – including Mulnonah, Clackamas, Washington, Columbia, Marion, Lane, Lynn and the Dischute counties. The governor considered these counties to be at “extreme risk” of large-scale viral spread. However, overall restrictions will not be stringent.

Among the new, lighter restrictions: outdoor dining will be allowed in bars and restaurants, and larger religious institutions will be able to quadruple their indoor size.

Despite the worsening of the COVID-19 crisis in Oregon, Brown is easing several public health safeguards. The governor has drawn public criticism and under intense pressure from industry groups – in the form of a lawsuit – ever since he announced him earlier this month, to ease his restrictions. The restrictions are part of a two-week statewide freeze effective from November 18. 2 December

On November 13, the day Brown announced a two-week freeze, new daily cases of coronovirus averaged 900-records per day in Oregon. On Wednesday, the spread of coronaviruses had continued only for balloons, with Oregon averaging more than 1,250 cases per day.

In response to a reporter’s question, Brown said the freeze was not meant for the “long haul”.

“It’s not a permanent place to be in Oregon,” Brown said. “I am in the business of saving lives, but at the same time conserve livelihood. And moving forward with these matrices, what we’re trying to do is balance both things. “

Brown also acknowledged that it did not seem appropriate to stop the Oregon counties, such as Wallowa County, which had not seen many infections relative to the rest of the state.

“There was no point moving from a one-size-fits-all approach,” Brown said.

Beginning December 3, “highly risk” counties will fall under the following rules:

– Brown will only allow restaurants and bars to be reopened for meals. The capacity will be limited to 50 people per establishment, and the group size will be up to six people. State public health officials are strongly encouraging take-out.

– Will be allowed to lead outdoor fitness activities in the gym. There will be a limit of 50 people per establishment per person.

– Religious organizations will be able to provide services at 25% capacity or more than 100 people indoors, whichever results are lower. Outside, 150 people will be allowed to gather. Brown’s sanctions under a two-week statewide freeze include a faith-based organization that does not gather more than 25 people outside the home or 50 people.

-Social gate-vehicles will be limited to a total of six people, with the recommendation not to gather more than two houses at a time.

– Grocery stores, retail stores and malls will be limited to 50% capacity. Currently, stores are limited to 75% capacity, which has led some health experts to worry that Black Friday and the rush of shoppers usually fall within the 75% capacity limit and not fall within the upcoming 50% limit. When it comes into force over a week-long holiday shopping season, this new ban will mark an area where Brown is tightening requirements.

Multanomah County was supposed to be under a four-week freeze, scheduled to expire in mid-December. But Brown’s new revised plan would replace that freeze.

Public health officials will use COVID-19 numbers for Monday, November 30 to determine which counties fall under the “extreme risk” category and are subject to the most aggressive restrictions. Currently, public health officials estimate that there will be about 21 of Oregon’s 36 counties.

Other counties would be considered “high risk,” “medium risk” and “low risk” – and would face varying degrees of low sanctions. The governor’s office has not actually announced those restrictions.

On Wednesday, Brown and other public health officials pleaded with the public once again to abandon the big Thanksgiving day plans and follow a statewide order allowing more than six people to gather from two different homes Was not. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has gone a step further and recommends that Americans only take a vacation with their home members, and that they stay away from vacation travel.

Brown said, “I promise you it’s not forever, it’s for now.” Brown said that making smart choices will ensure that loved ones survive the COVID-19 pandemic and that they will come here to celebrate the next Thanksgiving Day.

“These options will get us out of this terrible situation fast,” she said.

Oregon Health Authority director Patrick Allen said the state expects to receive its first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine in December. He said it would be enough to vaccinate 30,000 frontline healthcare workers, who would be the first in line to receive a dose. He will need a second dose in January.

Brown said there are about 300,000 health workers in Oregon, so it will take a little time to allocate doses to all of them.

Allen said Oregon would probably prioritize people living in long-term care facilities and essential workers, then the general population. The country’s top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci estimates that the healthy general public will start getting vaccinated in early April and will take everyone to vaccinate in July. It can be difficult to convince a large portion of Americans to receive vaccines.

Allen stated that “the end of COVID-19 is in sight” and it is very important for people to follow public health restrictions, such as keeping distance from others outside their homes and wearing masks until we get to that point Do not reach.

“Let’s not lose any more lives, especially now,” he said, “as vaccines become a reality, not a hope.”

– Anime Green; [email protected]; @o_aimee

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