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Governor Kate Brown announced urgent new rules to slow the
spread of COVID-19 in Oregon. The following measures are based on the
recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Oregon
public health experts, epidemiologists, and health professionals.
Governor Brown will address the strategies at a press
conference at 9 a.m. today in Portland, including:
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.
As the number of positive cases increases across Oregon,
public health resources will be directed toward implementing the guidelines and
policies in this statewide mitigation plan, and reducing focus on aggressive
contact follow-up on each individual positive case.
“Nobody is immune to this virus, it can touch
everyone," said Governor Brown. “We can’t let fear and anxiety stigmatize
people. We are seeing cases across multiple counties and age groups, and in
people exposed through different circumstances. It’s time for us all to do what
we can to slow its spread and take care of one another."
Governor Brown submitted an updated request to Vice
President Pence today outlining Oregon’s urgent needs from the federal
government to support coronavirus response efforts in Oregon, as well as
anticipated needs moving forward.
The Oregon Health Authority announced new steps to expand
access to COVID-19 testing. State epidemiologists have updated COVID-19 testing
guidelines to emphasize that outpatient clinicians can order a test for the
virus from a commercial laboratory, at their discretion, without OHA
authorization. In addition, the procedure for collecting a COVID-19 sample is
no longer classified as a high-risk, airborne testing process, requiring N95
masks. Under the recommendations, health care providers will only be required
to wear a regular mask, gown, gloves, and eye protections, making the procedure
for safely collecting samples simpler to administer for health care workers and
easier to obtain for patients. Finally, state health officials announced that
they have agreements with five hospital systems to conduct COVID-19 testing.
State health officials and hospital administrators urged anyone considering a
COVID-19 test to consult with your health care provider before seeking a test
at a local clinic or hospital.
Governor Brown will hold a press conference this morning to
discuss these new steps to stem the spread of coronavirus in Oregon. She will
be joined by Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen, Multnomah County
Chair Deborah Kafoury, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Tri-County health officials,
and other state and local officials. Please note modified time:
Thursday, March 12
Portland State Office Building
800 NE Oregon St, Rm 177