Gov. Kate Brown will ease several COVID-19 restrictions in Oregon: Bars and restaurants could open for outdoor dining next week

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced on Wednesday that she would back down Many restrictions Only a week ago had been set up in bars, restaurants, gyms, supermarkets and religious organizations in order to stop Unprecedented, Out of control spread Covid-19.

Beginning Thursday, December 3, several Brown restrictions will be lifted in Oregon counties not severely affected by the coronavirus.

But most of Brown’s restrictions will likely remain in effect December 3 in 21 counties – including Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Colombia, Marion, Lynn, Lynn and Deschotis counties. The governor considered these counties to be in “grave danger” from the wide spread of the virus. However, restrictions generally will not be strict.

Among the new and lighter restrictions: outdoor dining will be permitted in bars and restaurants, and large religious establishments will be able to quadruple the sizes of indoor gatherings.

Brown is easing many public health safety measures despite the worsening COVID-19 crisis in Oregon. The governor has come under public criticism and come under intense pressure from industry groups – including in The suit form – To ease restrictions imposed on it since announcing it earlier this month. The restrictions are part of a statewide two-week freeze that takes effect Nov 18 – Dec 2.

On November 13, the day Brown announced the two-week freeze, the average daily new coronavirus cases was 900 cases per day in Oregon. Wednesday, the spread of the coronavirus continued to spiral into inflation, with Oregon averaging more than 1,250 cases per day.

In response to a reporter’s question, Brown said the freeze was not intended as a “long term”.

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It’s not a sustainable place to be Oregon, Brown said. I am frankly saving lives, but also preserving livelihoods. To go forward with these metrics, what we’re trying to do is balance the two things. ”

Brown also acknowledged that it does not seem right to severely restrict Oregon counties, such as Wallowa, which have not seen as many infections compared to the rest of the state.

“The one-size-fits-all approach just didn’t make sense going forward,” Brown said.

Starting December 3, “high-risk” provinces will be subject to the following rules:

Brown will allow restaurants and bars to reopen only for outdoor dining. Capacity will be limited to 50 people per establishment, group size to 6 people. State public health officials strongly encourage eating out.

Gyms will be allowed to lead outdoor fitness activities. Capacity will be limited to 50 outdoor people per establishment.

Religious organizations will be able to set up services at 25% or with up to 100 people inside, whichever results in fewer. Outdoors, it will allow up to 150 people to gather. Brown’s restrictions under a statewide two-week freeze limit religious organizations to gatherings of no more than 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.

Social gatherings will remain limited to six people, with the recommendation that no more than two families meet at the same time.

The capacity of grocery stores, retail stores, and malls will be limited to 50%. Currently, store capacity is limited to 75%, which has alarmed some health experts given that Black Friday and the crowds of shoppers that attract it usually fall below the 75% capacity limit rather than the next 50% limit. When it comes into effect a week after the holiday shopping season, this new restriction will mark one area where Brown is tightening requirements.

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Multnomah County It was supposed to be under a four-week freeze, due to expire in mid-December. But Brown’s newly revised plan will replace that freeze.

Public health officials will use the COVID-19 numbers for Monday, November 30 to identify which counties fall into the “high risk” category and are subject to the most stringent restrictions. Currently, public health officials estimate that it will be around 21 of the 36 counties in Oregon.

Other provinces will be considered “high risk”, “moderate risk” and “lower risk” – and will face varying degrees of lesser restrictions. The governor’s office has not announced exactly what these restrictions are.

On Wednesday, Brown and other public health officials again pleaded with the public to abandon big Thanksgiving plans and stick to a statewide order that does not allow more than six people from two different families to gather. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention This has taken a step further They recommended that Americans celebrate the holiday only with their family members, and that they Avoid vacation travel.

“I promise you that this is not forever, it is only for now,” Brown said. Brown said making smart choices will ensure their loved ones survive the COVID-19 pandemic and will be here to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving.

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

Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority, said the state expects to receive its first shipments of COVID-19 vaccines in December. He said it would be enough to vaccinate 30,000 Frontline healthcare workersWho will be the first to get the doses. They will need a second dose in January.

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Brown said there are approximately 300,000 healthcare workers in Oregon so it will take some time to customize doses for all of them.

Oregon Allen said Maybe you will give priority People who live in long-term care facilities and are the primary workers, then the general population. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, estimates that the otherwise healthy general population will start getting vaccinated as early as April, and that it will take until July to vaccinate everyone who wants to. Convincing the vast majority of Americans to receive vaccinations can be difficult.

Allen said that “the end of Covid-19 is imminent” and it is very important that people adhere to public health restrictions, such as keeping a distance from others outside their homes and wearing masks, until we get to this point.

He said, “Let’s not lose more lives, especially now, where vaccines become a reality, not a hope.”

– Amy Green [email protected]; o_aimee

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