Masks required while waiting in line, birthday parties to shrink under new mandate

Gov. Kate Brown announces new state restrictions in a news conference in Portland on Thursday, March 12. (Jonathan House/Pamplin Media)

Gov. Kate Brown on Monday announced more restrictive measures intended to slow the spread of Covid after Oregon reported more cases in the last week than the entire month of May.

Potlucks, birthday parties and other indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people and face masks are required outdoors when physical distancing can’t be maintained starting Wednesday, July 15, Brown announced.

The new gathering restrictions won’t apply to restaurants, bars or churches, but Brown reiterated an earlier warning that nothing was off the table.

“Today we are sounding the alarm because we are at risk of seeing this virus spiral out of control,” Brown said.

She said businesses implementing safety rules don’t appear to be the source of significant transmission, but social get togethers, like bachelorette parties, are contributing to case counts.

People in their twenties and thirties are the most likely to get sick with Covid. Half of all cases are from people under 40 and a third are from those under 30, Brown said.

Workplaces and long-term care facilities continue to drive infection rates in Salem and statewide.

“We have done so much, we have come so far, we have sacrificed so deeply. We cannot let this virus get the best of us,” Brown said during a press conference.