CERT team volunteer Laura Hildebrandt holds out one of the donated masks during a mask collection event at Woodmansee Park on Thursday, April 16. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday announced there would be more restrictions put in place to help slow the spread of Covid.
Starting Friday, children 5 or older are required to wear face coverings indoors and when physical distance can’t be maintained outside. People heading to the gym must wear masks when exercising indoors.
The capacity for venues like movie theaters, bars, gyms and churches is reduced to 100 people indoors including staff. The limit had been 250.
Restaurants and bars, which has previously been allowed to stay open until midnight in Marion and Polk counties, will now have to close at 10 p.m.
Brown said the virus was continuing to spread too quickly and if it didn’t slow, she would be forced to implement widespread closures again.
The state has more than 15,000 Covid infections, and Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state health officer, said that Oregon recorded 2,400 new cases last week – a 26% increase over the week before.
“I don’t make these decisions lightly and there are no easy choices,” Brown said. “It’s up to all of us to do our part to look out for one another.”
Brown’s announcement follows more restrictive measures imposed last week which required masks outside when physical distance can’t be maintained, like when standing in line outside.
During Wednesday’s news conference, Brown said she was looking into restricting tourist travel into Oregon from states with high infection rates. She also said there could be mandatory quarantines for people visiting the state from hot spots.
Bend issued an executive order last week asking tourists to stay away until September because of the increasing number of cases of Covid.
Brown said there was one piece of good news: long-term care facilities without any evidence of Covid can now allow visitors outside.
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Have a story tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] or @daisysaphara.