Gov. Brown Declares Bars and Restaurants Can Stay Open

Update: Gov. Brown Issues Order to Bars and Restaurants to Close Tuesday, Bans Gatherings of Greater Than 25

  Monday morning Gov. Kate Brown says she is not currently ready to impose restrictions on restaurants and bars.  Although the CDC recommendation for the next eight weeks urges against gatherings of 50 or more. Brown has been weighing this decision over the weekend, and as late as Sunday evening, and was considering instituting a curfew or temporary closures.    

The governor had a phone call Sunday night with nearly 200 elected officials in Oregon and heard “in our rural communities, restaurants are a key provider of meals to a lot of the elderly and vulnerable folks.”, and during Brown’s short call with reporters today she said “I’m thinking about how something like this can impact Oregonians across the state.”  A number of elected officials expressed concerns about economic consequences.  

Some restaurant owners asked for a closure order: In response to the CDC recommendation for the next eight weeks many restaurants and bars in Portland have made the decision to either shut down temporarily or have shortened hours. In addition, there is also an open letter to Gov. Brown from over 100 chefs, culinary organizers, and public relations professionals urging her to immediately close all restaurants and bars in Oregon. Many small businesses are waiting to have a government order to close in order to qualify for loss of business insurance. However, the governor said she believes there will be economic harm if she orders closures or curfews.  

Several European countries and U.S. states have ordered all non-essential businesses closed.   

By Sam Schultz