Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced “urgent new rules” this week in an effort to slow the spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Oregon. She announced the measures, which are based on the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oregon public health experts, epidemiologists and health professionals, in a release Wednesday night, followed by a news conference this morning in Portland.
Large gatherings: All large gatherings over 250 people will be canceled statewide effective immediately for four weeks. A gathering is defined as any event in a space in which appropriate social distancing of a minimum of three feet cannot be maintained.
Schools: In addition to previous guidance issued on March 8, 2020 to keep schools open, all non-essential school-associated gatherings and group activities should be canceled — such as group parent meetings, field trips, and competitions.
Workplace: Recommended implementation of distancing measures including an increased physical space between employees in offices and worksites, limited in-person meetings, limited travel, and staggered work schedules where possible.
Long-Term Care and Assisted Living: Strict limitations announced this week by the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services remain in place.
As the number of positive cases increases across Oregon, public health resources will be directed toward implementing the guidelines and policies in this statewide mitigation plan, and reducing focus on aggressive contact follow-up on each individual positive case.
“We are now in an unprecedented public health crisis, a rapidly evolving global pandemic. Most of us have never experienced anything like this,” said Gov. Brown. “What is clear is that we must take immediate action to stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and act now to protect those who are most vulnerable.
“We know that these efforts to fight coronavirus will have an impact on our daily lives, our livelihoods, and Oregon’s economy. But this disease does not discriminate. We are all facing this together, and these steps can save lives.”
Gov. Brown submitted an updated request to Vice President Mike Pence today outlining Oregon’s urgent needs from the federal government to support coronavirus response efforts in Oregon, as well as anticipated needs moving forward.
Canby Events Canceled
Cancellations of events in the Canby area hit fast and hard in the wake of the governor’s announcement. The much-anticipated Daddy Daughter Dance, hosted by Canby Rotary and planned to take place Saturday night at the Ackerman Center, was one of the first casualties.
The Club said the decision was “out an abundance of caution, through communication with Oregon’s governor, CDC guidance and input from the Canby School District, our site host.”
“While this saddens us, we believe it is in the best interest of all people in our community to do so,” organizers said, adding that ticket-holders would receive a full refund in the coming days. The event will be rescheduled for a later date.
“It was a tough decision, but we want to make sure that we have a safe environment for those in attendance and a successful and productive show that is enjoyable for everyone,” Stoelb said. “Thank you all for your patronage and we will be working with our guest performers to ensure that they are available for a future show date.”
He said the Pitchpipers would work with individuals to schedule refunds, and asked for patience as they get those out.
“This decision is consistent both with our mission of strengthening our community, and our values of creating a community where everyone feels safe,” Bridging Cultures Coordinator Janet Diaz said in an email to supporters. “We express our sincerest appreciation for those of you who registered and already donated, and we look forward to speaking with you to discuss additional donation options.”
She said the group is working to reschedule the event and will keep the community informed.
The information that would have been presented is available here.
Due to the recent crowd size limitations, tonight’s all-sports athlete/parent night has been cancelled. Please review the information on the link below. Stay tuned for communication about individual sports meetings. Go COUGS! https://t.co/aHAElyO8Qp
“With the situation changing on a daily basis, we will be constantly evaluating the situation and adjust as needed,” Library Director Irene Green said.
“We decided to come to this conclusion as a group due to the viral outbreak,” said CTA member Diana Cerasin. “Our main concern is that of the health of not just our trans community but also the community at large.”
Head coach Jennifer Chaffee says they hope to hold “some form of friends and family night to give these kids a chance to dance one more time, honor our seniors and have closure.”
“Our families, dancers and coaches are heart-broken and disappointed in the abrupt end to the season,” Chaffee said. “But we are a flexible and resilient group — who are bonded tightly. We will still meet tonight for practice and have a time to process this news together and reflect on the incredible season of memories we have made together.”
“Things like this are just out of our control, and the safety of others is of the utmost importance,” she said.
“We will still hold the program and record it to share it with the college community,” a release said. “Though we are disappointed to not share the start of our final bond project with the community in person, the community will be invited to the grand opening next year.”
The Oregon Health Authority announced new steps to expand access to COVID-19 testing. State epidemiologists have updated COVID-19 testing guidelines to emphasize that outpatient clinicians can order a test for the virus from a commercial laboratory, at their discretion, without OHA authorization.
In addition, the procedure for collecting a COVID-19 sample is no longer classified as a high-risk, airborne testing process, requiring N95 masks. Under the recommendations, health care providers will only be required to wear a regular mask, gown, gloves, and eye protections, making the procedure for safely collecting samples simpler to administer for health care workers and easier to obtain for patients.
Finally, state health officials announced that they have agreements with five hospital systems to conduct COVID-19 testing. State health officials and hospital administrators urged anyone considering a COVID-19 test to consult with your health care provider before seeking a test at a local clinic or hospital.