Late this afternoon, Gov. Kate Brown announced she is issuing an order effective on Tuesday that restricts restaurants and bars to delivery and takeout only – gatherings of 25 people or more will also be banned. The ban will be in effect for four weeks.
Grocery stores and retail outlets are exempt from this order. The ban on gatherings over 25 also applies to weddings and funerals, and Brown has further urged that Oregonians to refrain from gatherings of larger than 10.
Earlier in the day, Brown had announced that bars and restaurants would be able to remain open. Brown’s hesitation to close restaurants and bars was the result of a conference call with Oregon politicians that occurred on Sunday evening.
Brown’s later decision this afternoon stems from pressure by health care professionals and business owners. Restaurateurs were critical of her earlier decision because they needed a government order of closure to file loss of business claims with their insurers.
Brown’s ultimate decision for further social distancing measures comes as there are nearly 800 or more cases of COVID-19 in Washington. While in Oregon, there are now 39 confirmed cases, one death, and 182 pending COVID-19 tests.
By Sam Schultz