UPDATED (March 23, 3:45 p.m. PT) — Gov. Kate Brown is ordering all Oregonians to stay in their homes as of Monday, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. The executive order forbids all Oregonians from leaving their homes unless absolutely necessary.
It affects a long list of businesses from hair salons, bowling alleys, spas and gyms, to museums and yoga studios. Pools, outdoor sports courts, playground areas and state parks will also be closed.
Office work is also banned when teleworking or work-at-home options are available.
All childcare facilities must not exceed a group of 10.
When people do leave home for essential reasons, such as going to the grocery store or for a walk, they should maintain at least six feet from any other person.
Violations of the order can be treated as a class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,250 fine.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was prepared to release a similar order for the city Monday before Brown issued her executive order.
“I want to thank Governor Brown for taking the necessary steps to slow the spread of COVID-19. In the absence of a vaccine, the best defense we have right now is protecting the community from infection with social distancing,” Wheeler said in a statement.
“The Governor’s statewide Stay Home, Save Lives Order strengthens and reinforces the seriousness of that need.”
Portland Police Bureau responds to Gov. Brown’s ‘Stay at Home’ order
As Brown’s statewide “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order rolls out, Portland police officers will attempt to educate violators first while maintaining six-foot social distancing guidelines.
“Ideally, everyone would be aware of the order and voluntarily comply. We will take an educate-first approach and use criminal citations as a very last resort,” said Chief Jami Resch in a recorded statement.
Officers will provide a warning to allow people to voluntarily go home. If people don’t comply, they could face misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,250 fine.
Resch said businesses that are out of compliance with the new order will also receive a warning, with an opportunity to comply. Officers will send reports to appropriate licensing agencies, such as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, if businesses don’t adhere to the order.
PPB has asked that community members refrain from calling 9-1-1 if they have non-emergency needs. If there are safety issues related to the Governor’s order, people should instead call the non-emergency dispatch line to report non-compliance. PPB said officers will determine if police response is appropriate and will respond, resources permitting.
Officers will continue to respond to all calls when there is a life safety issue.
Oregon reports 30 new COVID-19 cases
The Oregon Health Authority has reported 30 new cases of COVID-19. That brings Oregon’s number of known cases to 191 as of Monday afternoon. Oregon health officials report five deaths thus far due to the novel coronavirus.
OHA reported new diagnosed cases of the virus Monday in the following counties: 14 in Washington County, eight in Marion County, two cases each in Clackamas, Multnomah and Polk Counties and one case each in Hood River and Linn Counties.
The novel coronavirus, a relative of other viruses like SARS, was first identified in Wuhan, China, late last year.
Cases growing in Southwest Washington, state death toll over 100
A fourth person in Southwest Washington has died from the novel coronavirus, public health officials announced Monday. The latest death is a man in his 80s who died Thursday.
Health officials also announced two more positive cases. A man in his 50s, who had close contact with another positive case, is recovering at home. A woman in her 30s, who had no known contact, is hospitalized.
There have now been 13 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Clark County, including nine since Friday. All four deaths have been people in their 70s or older, including a husband and wife in their 80s.
In Washington, as of Monday afternoon, 110 people had died of the virus, and 2,221 were confirmed to have contracted it. Tests have confirmed an outbreak at another Washington nursing home.
Gov. Jay Inslee plans to hold a televised address Monday to announce “enhanced strategies to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak,” according to the Seattle Times. Like Oregon, Washington had resisted for weeks to issue a statewide order requiring people to stay at home as much as possible.
President Donald Trump has issued a disaster declaration for Washington and ordered federal assistance for the state, tribal and local response to the coronavirus outbreak. The White House says Sunday’s disaster declaration will provide federal assistance for both emergency protective measures and crisis counseling.
Portland parks remain open, sort of
Portland’s parks will remain open to the public under Gov. Kate Brown’s stay at home order, with some restrictions.
While the governor has closed campgrounds, playgrounds, courts, fields and state parks, cities are able to keep open their parks and natural areas.
In Portland, this means people can still walk, hike, bike, and run in the city’s parks during the pandemic — as long as they can keep six feet of distance from other people.
“If you can’t maintain that distance, find another location or come back another time,” Portland Parks & Recreation staff said in a statement. Portland’s golf courses will also remain open; however the clubhouses will be closed effective tomorrow.