Watch: Gov. Kate Brown Addresses Steps To Contain Spread Of Coronavirus In Oregon

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown speaks about statewide plans to stem the spread of coronavirus, including social distancing measures. 

UPDATE (March 11, 10:25 p.m. PT) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced late Wednesday night that she would ban all public gatherings of more than 250 people statewide for four weeks, effective immediately.

The measure is in attempt to slow the spread of novel coronavirus, which the World Health Authority has deemed a pandemic.

What To Know About The New Coronavirus

The new coronavirus is spreading across the Pacific Northwest. Here some basic things to know:

• Coronavirus is more severe and more contagious than the flu. Take it seriously but don’t panic.
• The elderly and immune-compromised are most at-risk, but everyone can get sick.
• If you are sick stay home, self-quarantine and call your doctor.
• Practice social distancing. Avoid large gatherings, or small gatherings in tight spaces. At-risk people and people with underlying conditions should stay at home.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is a backup option.
• Cough into a sleeve. Wash hands after coughing. Avoid touching your face.
• Sterilize things you touch often, like computers, phones, keys, and tablets.
• If you have prescriptions, call your doctor and ask for a 3-month supply in case of drug shortages.

More questions about the new coronavirus, answered

“It’s time for us all to do what we can to slow its spread and take care of one another,” Brown said in a written statement.

The governor had been prepared to announce social distancing measures at an 11 a.m. news conference Thursday. That has been moved to 9 a.m.

The governor’s announcement follows a domino effect of cancellations and limitations placed on large events across the region and around the world.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced earlier Wednesday his own state’s social distancing measures, banning large events in three Puget Sound-area counties.

Oregon now has 21 diagnosed cases across eight counties. The two most recent patients are both men over the age of 80 and residents at a Lebanon veterans’ home.

Brown maintained the state’s guidance to keep schools open, according to a press release from her office. The release does say school activities like parent meetings, field trips and sporting events should be canceled.

Shortly after Brown’s announcement Wednesday night, the state’s two largest school districts, Portland Public Schools and Salem-Keizer Public Schools affirmed they are suspending large group activities, including school assemblies and off-site professional development for teachers. But unlike Seattle Public Schools, classes are continuing.

This story will be updated.