Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: As of May 6, officials in Oregon, US, maintain orders requiring residents to stay at home until further notice. Some state parks to reopen.

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 06 May 2020 16:34 GMT and is scheduled to expire 13 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
As of May 6, Oregon Governor Katherine Brown maintains orders requiring residents to stay at home except to perform essential tasks, and nonessential businesses are to remain closed, until further notice, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The orders, in place since March 24, stipulate that residents may only leave their homes to obtain basic goods, attend to a medical issue, care for a person in need, perform recreational outdoor activities while maintaining a proper distance from others, or to go to work at an essential business or service.

Among the essential businesses allowed to open are pharmacies, grocery stores, fuel stations, banks, and healthcare facilities, as well as those working in security, transport, critical manufacturing, and the media. Nonessential businesses can only operate with employees working from home. Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other food and beverage establishments can only operate for deliveries and pickups. All gatherings, regardless of size, will remain banned. Authorities have also extended the cancellation of in-person classes at schools, colleges, and universities through the end of the school year.

From May 5, some state parks and camping sites are permitted to reopen for visitors. Non-urgent procedures at hospitals, surgical centers, medical, and dental offices are allowed to resume since May 1. Authorities have announced steps necessary for lifting some business restrictions, but have not announced any date for reopening.

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

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Oregon authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. 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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