Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: As of May 28, officials in Oregon, US, have allowed 34 of the state's 36 counties to ease business restrictions, in place due to COVID-19.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Portland, Oregon
  • Medford, Oregon
  • Eugene, Oregon
  • Bend-Redmond, Oregon
  • North Bend, Oregon
  • Newport, Oregon
  • Klamath Falls, Oregon
  • Hermiston, Oregon

This alert began 28 May 2020 19:56 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Oregon (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant business and transport disruptions, heightened security

Summary
Oregon Governor Katherine Brown has announced that, as of May 28, 34 of the state's 36 counties have moved into Phase 1 of the administration's coronavirus virus (COVID-19) economic recovery plan, enabling certain businesses to open and activities to resume. Counties must remain in Phase 1 at least 21 days before moving to Phase 2.

Under Phase 1, authorities permit the following businesses to operate:

  • Personal care businesses, including barbershops, hair salons, and massage therapy services
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Dine-in services at restaurants and bars
  • Retail stores, shopping centers, and malls


Gatherings of up to 25 persons are also be allowed.

The specific jurisdictions that are in Phase 1 include Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Wheeler, and Yamhill counties. In Multnomah and Washington counties, retail businesses may reopen for in-person services, but dine-in services at bars and restaurants will remain banned; moreover, gyms, fitness centers, and personal care businesses must remain closed. Social gatherings of more than 10 people remain banned.

Other nonessential businesses will remain closed, although employees can continue to work from home whenever possible. All businesses that reopen, regardless of location, must enhance sanitation procedures, enforce social distancing guidelines, and limit the number of customers in their establishments. Employers must provide face masks to all employees, and residents must wear face masks when on public transport. Statewide, residents are encouraged to remain at home as much as possible and to follow social distancing guidelines. Essential businesses, including pharmacies, grocery stores, fuel stations, banks, and healthcare facilities, as well as those working in security, transport, critical manufacturing, and the media, have not been subject to mandatory closures. Some state parks and camping sites remain open, and nonurgent procedures at hospitals, surgical centers, medical, and dental offices are also allowed. In-person classes at schools, colleges, and universities will remain canceled through the end of the school year.

Significant transport and business disruptions remain likely. Authorities will probably keep additional security personnel deployed to assist in enforcing the remaining measures. Officials could amend the orders in short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures will likely accelerate in the coming weeks; however, restrictions may be reimposed or extended further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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