The Governor held a press conference this morning to give an update on COVID-19. Oregon reported more cases last week than the entire month of May. Half of all cases are from people under the age of 40 and one-third of all cases are under the age 30. The Governor is worried that the virus could spiral out of control like we have seen other states in the US. She stressed the importance of wearing face coverings and the concern of how the ability of the virus spreads when individuals don’t even know they have the virus and are infecting other people.
The Governor is instituting the following two new items:
- Statewide ban on indoor get togethers of more than 10 people. This doesn’t effect workplace or churches at this time. She is not closing bars or restaurants at this time, but said nothing is not off the table for the future depending on what happens.
- Face coverings will be required outdoors if you cant maintain 6 feet of distance between people out of your household. Businesses that are operating outdoors, will have to have similar face covering guideline as they do for indoor activity.
There will be fines and closures to businesses that don’t comply to all guidelines. OHA Director Allen said cases are expected to 3 triple in the weeks to come. However, most current modeling does not take into account the statewide face covering mandate that went into effect just a couple weeks ago. They stated it has been clear that social indoor gatherings have been a huge reason for the larger number of cases in Oregon. Examples given of large indoor gatherings were fraternity parties, bachelorette parties, and graduation parties. The Governor’s team said everything they are doing in restrictions is to try and limit risk of individuals.
The Governor continues to look at work place outbreaks and the best way to deal with those by industry. They are working with industries to try and adapt as needed for specific situation. Work place outbreaks are easy to identify, but aren’t necessarily the reason for large county outbreaks. Work place outbreaks also don’t necessarily mean anything was done wrong. The Department of Agriculture and OSHA have been working with businesses closely to make sure precautions are in place.
The state is working to increase testing levels and working with the Federal Government on more supplies. Our testing is up considerably from before and we are currently testing around 35,000 people per week right now, but they are worried about the demand in larger hot spots and losing testing capacity to those states.
Schools was also a topic, but it is clear there is still a lot of unknowns as to what will happen next fall. However, it sounds like for most districts there will be a combination of both in-person and distance learning. Each district is planning on something a little different, based on their own circumstances.
Other items of importance:
The Emergency Board is set to meet tomorrow, you can see their agenda on the link below. We will make sure to let you know how things turn out, but as we have seen in the last couple meetings the E-Board will be spending more CARES Act money.
The next Special Session is still expected to happen the last part of July or first part of August. It looks like it will be more likely to be sometime within the first couple of weeks of August. The main purpose of the session will be to balance the budget but I am sure there will also be some policy issues addressed at the same time.
Please let us know if you have any questions of comments
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