To Open Schools, Brown Considers Business Shutdowns & Travel Restrictions

At its current rate, Oregon is 260 days away from meeting the COVID-19 metrics to reopen schools, as reported by the Statesman Journal. Consequently, Gov. Kate Brown announced she is considering forcing businesses to close and requiring travelers to quarantine in order to bring the state closer to reopening metrics.   

“I believe, and the data indicates, that either one of these strategies will work,” Brown told the Statesman Journal. “Either one will drive down the spread of the virus more quickly. Either one gives us a fighting chance to open up in-person instruction and K through 12 education more quickly.”  

Oregon must have a test positivity rate of below 5 percent to reopen schools. Currently, only one county in the state—Wheeler—meets this requirement.   

Brown is having discussions with county officials and business associations before deciding whether or not to close businesses again, and is continually discouraging large gatherings and encouraging use of face coverings across the state.   

“Closing businesses across the state like we did with the Stay Home, Save Lives order works to control the virus, but the economic cost is extraordinary,” Brown told the Statesman Journal.  

Ultimately, Brown said she could take action at the end of August if local leaders fail to do enough to slow the spread of COVID-19.   

By Jada Krening