Oregon, California and Washington Friday issued travel advisories due to an increasing number of coronavirus cases along the West Coast.
Governors from the three states are urging against non-essential out-of-state travel, and they are asking people who do choose to travel to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in another state or country.
The travel advisories also recommend that people limit their interactions to their immediate household only.
“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines. As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement. “If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”
Oregon Thursday reported 1,122 known coronavirus cases – the highest daily case count since the beginning of the pandemic. California and Washington have also seen a growing number of cases.
“California just surpassed a sobering threshold – one million COVID-19 cases – with no signs of the virus slowing down,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians. Travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, and we must all collectively increase our efforts at this time to keep the virus at bay and save lives.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement that COVID-19 cases have doubled in Washington over the past two weeks.
The travel advisories come the same day Brown a two-week “freeze” for most of the state starting Nov. 18 resulting in restrictions including limiting restaurants and bars to take-out only, limiting social get togethers to no more than six people from two households and closing some businesses such as gyms and theaters.
Multnomah County will be under those new guidelines for at least four weeks, and other counties with high COVID-19 rates will also face longer restrictions.
Kevney Dugan, president and CEO of city tourism agency Visit Bend, said he was not surprised to hear about additional restrictions as coronavirus case numbers continue to rise. He said the pandemic has already affected workers in Bend who rely on tourism to the area.
“For these businesses, the housekeepers, the service industry workers who really require the paychecks they earn by showing up, and with any sort of lack of stimulus to backfill that, I think that’s where it sort of hit home to me, not so much that it’s not the right thing to do, but who is this ultimately going to impact?” Dugan said.
Dugan added he hopes everyone adheres to Brown’s new restrictions.
“If we use this as another opportunity to take this hard pause, and some of us adhere to it and some of us don’t, and we don’t truly get on top of it, I sort of worry that we’re going to waste another two-week opportunity,” he said.