By Associated Press • 

Gov. Brown: Oregon may see thousands of coronavirus cases, large gatherings banned for four weeks

SALEM — Oregon should prepare for thousands of cases of coronavirus, Gov. Kate Brown said Thursday as she announced a ban on all gatherings of more than 250 people statewide for four weeks to try to stop the spread.

“We find ourselves in an unprecedented public health crisis, a rapidly evolving global pandemic,“ Brown told a press conference in Portland. "What is clear today is that we must take immediate action to stem the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in our communities.”

A gathering is defined as any event in a space in which a minimum of three feet (one meter) cannot be maintained, the order issued late Wednesday specified. Brown said that includes even weddings. If one is planned for fewer than 250 attendees, the elderly and those with health conditions should not go, she said.

Also late Wednesday, the Oregon Health Authority reported two men in their 80s at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon have become infected with COVID-19, with the statewide total being 21.

A strike team from the Oregon Health Authority has deployed to the home, where they are assessing infection control, the facility said on Facebook. The team will collect samples for COVID-19 testing of all residents and care providers.

The facility in west-central Oregon has 151 residents and 225 workers, Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said at the news conference.

Brown said all non-essential school-associated gatherings and group activities should be canceled — such as group parent meetings, field trips, and competitions. She recommended businesses implement an increased physical space between employees, limit travel, and stagger work schedules where possible.

“Coronavirus is in our communities, we should be prepared for thousands of cases in Oregon,” Brown said at the news conference.

Other regions have ordered different limits on events because of the COVID-19 crisis. Santa Clara County in California, for example, banned events with more than 1,000 attendees, while a ban in three counties in the Seattle metro area applies to gatherings of over 250 people.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover within a few weeks.

Brown wrote Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump's point man on fighting the virus, on Wednesday to remind him of her March 3 request for 600,000 surgical masks, 400,000 N-95 respirators and other personal protective equipment.

“To date, we have received none of the requested PPE,” Brown wrote, also addressing the letter to leaders in Congress.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, criticized the lack of response.

“Not only has Oregon received none of that equipment, they haven't even gotten a response. No plan, no urgency, no leadership,” Merkley said Thursday on Twitter.

The University of Oregon announced Wednesday that classes this week would continue as scheduled, but all final exams next week will be conducted remotely and future classes would be taught online. Oregon State University announced that while campuses and facilities will remain open, final exams and activities will be delivered remotely where possible. Where remote teaching and other activities is not possible, maximum social distancing measures will be utilized.

Portland State University in Multnomah County, where one case was reported on Tuesday, is recommending classes be held online when possible, including for final exams next week, but is stopping short of closing.

 

 

Comments

HopefulWonder

Will SIP still be able to go on?

Joel

I support the governor in this ban....but it raises an interesting question in my mind. Does she have the power to ban oregonians from attending church for four weeks? Wouldnt that be the constitutional equivelant of a politician shutting down the all news orginizations for four weeks?

MMC

My understanding is that the event has been cancelled. I received this information from wineries. No official word yet from SIP website.

Ossie Bladine

SIP has been canceled following the governor's order for all gatherings over 250 people. Story just posted.

RobsNewsRegister

< remind him of her March 3 request for 600,000 surgical masks, 400,000 N-95 respirators and other personal protective equipment.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, criticized the lack of response.

“Not only has Oregon received none of that equipment, they haven't even gotten a response. No plan, no urgency, no leadership,” Merkley said Thursday on Twitter. >

Does everything have to be politicized these days? We outsourced much of our production base to the PRC, including masks. The vice president can't just snap his fingers to have the masks appear as if by magic.

https://www.made-in-china.com/products-search/hot-china-products/N95_Respirators.html

Bigfootlives

so our good governor Brown has declared a state of emergency and has criticized the Trump admin for not providing the 600k surgical masks, 400k N95 respirators and other PPE. Also, the CDC delivered 4800 new test kits the day before the state ran out, for which they were also criticized. Our state Oregon Health Authority must be burning the candle at both ends fighting this pandemic. The OHA website tells a different story, you know, the truth. As of Wednesday the 12th at 10am the state had administered 367 tests for coronovirus. for a department that boasts 1000's of possible effected people walking the streets you would think we would want to id some of them.

And considering the state has tested 367 people and have a handful of patients. why can't they get buy on existing stock of gowns and masks. If they are not planning for outside the box issues having not to rely on others until the CDC can cover them as need increases.

The state has botched the response to the pandemic and it will cost all of us dearly in the next 3 months and should cause a lot of people in Salem to lose there employment. But hey, its all President Trumps fault.

treefarmer


The Trump administration fired the entire U.S. pandemic response team in 2018 to cut costs, and did not replace them.

This is simply a fact, we are all free to determine how it has affected us and to make our own judgments...... or rationalizations.

RobsNewsRegister

John Bolton disbanded the team. NSC teams change all of the time.

https://www.factcheck.org/2020/03/democrats-misleading-coronavirus-claims/

treefarmer


So, is it not true that Bolton was part of the Trump administration? And the response team was not "changed," it was fired. What is your point?

Joel

Good grief Robs, Bigfoot and tree. I was hoping that this virus scare would bring our country together for a brief time....kind of like 9/11 did. So far, no such luck.

RobsNewsRegister

NSC employees are brought in to work at the NSC and then (usually) go back to their host (e.g. DoD, CIA, ect..) agencies when "fired". The National Security Advisor manages the agency. The team was formed in 2016 after Ebola and disbanded in 2018. That is how the NSC has always worked. I'm not a John Bolton fan so won't waste my breath defending his decision.

Lulu

Joel--have you forgotten Matthew 18:20? "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." KJV.

Mudstump

We have three children and one daughter-in-law that are on the front lines working in health care and hospitals here in Oregon. For God's sake, please do what is asked to reduce exposure to the virus. Now is not the time to be bitter or stubborn or to dig your heels in because of political nonsense. Every time you take a risk because it's your "right" to do what you want...you put my children at greater risk and you make their jobs just that much harder. We all have to do our part. This virus doesn't care if you wear a red hat or a blue tee shirt. It's an equal opportunity infection that can get us all.

treefarmer

Well said Mudstump! If ever there was a time for WE not ME, it is NOW. Appreciate your personal reminders. Thanks!

RobsNewsRegister

To update since it was on this thread, it looks like the allegation the White House dissolved the pandemic response office in 2018 is fake news (according to Tim Morrison - see link). That said, well put Mudstump.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/03/17/no_the_white_house_didnt_dissolve_its_pandemic_response_office_142683.html

sbagwell

Not true, Rob. Just specious rightwing think tank propaganda. Check this response, which refers to a real story as reported at the time:

From the Washington Post back in 2018, May 10th: "The abrupt departure of Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer from the National Security Council (office of pandemic response) means no senior administration official is now focused solely on global health security. Ziemer’s departure, along with the breakup of his team, comes at a time when many experts say the country is already underprepared for the increasing risks of a pandemic or bioterrorism attack."
You are being played by a PAID HACK named Tim Morrison. Morrison is from the Hudson Institute, a right wing think tank/propaganda organ of the fascist side of American politics.

RobsNewsRegister

sbagwell - please note the Washington Post also published Tim Morrison's Op Ed. He could very well be spinning the decision in the best possible light as others spin it in the worst. The NSC typically is made up of only a few hundred people. We may be getting sucked into a sort of 'inside baseball' squabble about how to best organize the agency. Of that, I have no answer though my current concern regarding the agency is that it will be trimmed to the bone because of all the past leaks.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/16/no-white-house-didnt-dissolve-its-pandemic-response-office/

treefarmer


Really appreciate your corrections, sbagwell – always important to set the record straight. That so-called OPINION piece is riddled with misinformation and nefarious spin. (- “streamlining” - “reorganization” - claims of “handing things over to another official” who conveniently remained unnamed) In light of his own culpability, this piece may just be an attempt at CYA, or it could be that after Mr. Morrison parted company with Trump (ahead of his testimony in the impeachment hearings) this was his way to make amends and get back in good graces? Either way the “opinion” belongs in the basket with the tinfoil hats. Thanks for calling it out.

Also – I know I speak for many when I say how grateful we are for the way our N/R is keeping us informed as we navigate these perilous and distressing times.

Finch

Maybe another read of Mudstump's post is in order because the lectures and politics are getting thick again.

tricia

Good Lord Bagwell, it's hilarious you calling anyone else a hack. This guy was on the NSC. I don't know perhaps he may have more insight than you do. Care to let us know even an approximate location of the three infected individuals? What is the point of you?

Mudstump

tricia - "Good Lord Bagwell, it's hilarious you calling anyone else a hack. This guy was on the NSC. I don't know perhaps he may have more insight than you do. Care to let us know even an approximate location of the three infected individuals? What is the point of you?"

You must think that being nasty is a virtue. It's not, especially right now when we need to work together. Your comment is just ugly, but you're free to be as unseemly as you want.

Finch

Steve's post was a little nasty and harsh.

Mudstump

Finch - "Steve's post was a little nasty and harsh"

Finch, sometimes the truth can feel very harsh. Good luck you to and stay safe out there.

treefarmer


"....nasty and harsh" is in the eye of the beholder.

treefarmer

Mudstump - hope your brave young'uns are safe and well as they work to protect us all. PRAYERS!

Mudstump

treefarmer - So far everyone is well. We are staying put on our little farm and sending all the best wishes to those who have to go out there everyday and care for those that do get sick and others who need food or medication from the pharmacy. Law enforcement, first responders, doctors, nurses, delivery people and many more who do their job well and serve others. Thank God for those brave people. As always in these situations....they are the true heroes.

treefarmer


GREAT NEWS Mudstump, much appreciate the update. I add my voice to yours in humble gratitude for those who are on the front lines. They show us the VERY BEST in human nature. I too am hunkered down, it seems like the only way the rest of us can help. It is surreal to watch the beautiful spring blooming all around my own little farm as if there is nothing amiss. Time to focus on blessings and keep the faith. Stay safe and well.

sbagwell

Tricia and any others who misunderstood my post.
My contribution was, "Check this response, which refers to a real story as reported at the time:" The rest simply quoted the response verbatim. No harsh words from me, and no all caps screeds.

Steve

treefarmer


Steve - Pretty sure most of us did NOT misunderstand your post. Seems to me there is never a wrong time to correct misinformation, nor a right time to impugn the messenger.

As an aside, I must have missed something - could you tell me (us?) the significance of the "key symbol" that appears by some of the headlines?


Meanwhile, please keep up the great work and stay safe, N/R.....we need y'all now more than ever.