Governor Kate Brown announces statewide two-week freeze to stop rapid spread of COVID-19

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Governor Kate Brown today announced a statewide two-week freeze, implementing new measures to limit gatherings and stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 across Oregon. The two-week freeze measures will be in effect from Nov. 18 through Dec. 2, statewide. These risk reduction measures are critical in limiting the spread of COVID-19, reducing risk in communities more vulnerable to serious illness and death, and helping conserve hospital capacity so that all Oregonians can continue to have access to quality care.

“Since I announced a two-week pause one week ago, we are seeing an alarming spike in both cases and hospitalizations,” said Governor Brown. “The virus is spreading in the community and, every day, it is infecting more and more Oregonians. This situation is dangerous and our hospitals have been sounding the alarms. If we want to give Oregon a fighting chance, we must take further measures to flatten the curve and save lives. I know this is hard, and we are weary. But, we are trying to stop this ferocious virus from quickly spreading far and wide. And in Oregon, we actually can do this.

The Two-Week Freeze measures include:

• Limiting social get-togethers (indoors and outdoors) to no more than six people, total, from no more than two households.

• Limiting faith-based organizations to a maximum of 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.

• Limiting eating and drinking establishments to take-out and delivery only.

• Closing gyms and fitness organizations.

• Closing indoor recreational facilities, museums, indoor entertainment activities, and indoor pools and sports courts.

• Closing zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor entertainment activities, and outdoor pools.

• Limiting grocery stores and pharmacies to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.

• Limiting retail stores and retail malls (indoor and outdoor) to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.

• Closing venues (that host or facilitate indoor or outdoor events).

• Requiring all businesses to mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible and closing offices to the public.

• Prohibiting indoor visiting in long-term care facilities (outdoor visitation permitted for supporting quality of life).

The two-week freeze does not apply to or change current health and safety protocols for personal services (such as barber shops, hair salons, and non-medical massage therapy), congregate homeless sheltering, outdoor recreation and sports, youth programs, childcare, K-12 schools, K-12 sports currently allowed, current Division I and professional athletics exemptions, and higher education — all of which can continue operating under previous guidance issued by the Oregon Health Authority.

“Given the data and modeling we are seeing, my public health experts tell me that some counties will need longer to flatten the curve. So I want to be very clear that there are some COVID-19 hotspot counties that will likely need to stay in the freeze for much longer than two weeks. Multnomah County, for example, will be in this freeze for at least four weeks. Our actions right now, no matter where in the state you live, are critical,” Brown said.

For all other permitted activities listed above, the Oregon Health Authority will be issuing sector-specific guidance within the next week. Sectors without specific prohibitions or guidance must operate under this general employer guidance.