Oregon Governor Pauses Reopening As Coronavirus Cases Spike
Oregon Governor Kate Brown has paused applications for reopening the state’s businesses for at least one week after a “concerning” increase in coronavirus cases was noted, according to OregonLive.
Brown said in a Thursday evening statement: “In order to ensure that the virus is not spreading too quickly, I am putting all county applications for further reopening on hold for seven days.”
She said the move “is essentially a statewide ‘yellow light’” to allow public health officials time to investigate what is causing the uptick in cases and whether the reopening plan should be changed.
Brown added that she “will work with doctors and public health experts to determine whether to lift this pause or extend it or make other adjustments.”
Both confirmed cases and hospitalizations are rising across the state, according to the report.
Oregon recorded another all-time high in COVID-19 infections reported in a single day on Thursday with 178 cases, which brought the state’s total to 5,237. Two more Oregonians died from the virus, bringing Oregon’s death toll to 171.
OregonLive reported that officials in Multnomah County, which was prepared to reopen as of Wednesday, “could not trace 40% of new cases to a source -- one of six criteria that is supposed to be lower to enter into Phase 1.”
Multnomah County Health Officer Jennifer Vines said last week that protests against police brutality were the types of large gatherings that officials tried to prevent.
However, “she and others have been careful not to advise against such gatherings to protest police violence and systemic racism, instead encouraging protesters to wear face masks and socially distance.”
In Clackamas County, the Board of Commissioners opted to delay plans to apply for Phase 2 of reopening after they “reported the county’s trend in positive cases was going up not down and, instead of meeting the limit of 5% growth in cases over the past seven days, the county logged an increase of 191%.”
Prior to Brown’s announcement, Multnomah County was slated to be the last of 36 counties to finally reopen.