Gov. Kate Brown announces new state restrictions in a news conference in Portland on Thursday, March 12. (Jonathan House/Pamplin Media)
Gov. Kate Brown is asking Oregonians to avoid certain out-of-state travel to stop the surge of new coronavirus infections as Oregon recorded its first day with more than 1,000 new cases on Nov. 12.
On Friday, she joined Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, who are urging residents to self-quarantine at home for 14 days if they leave the state for tourism or recreational travel. The advisory also applies to out-of-state residents coming to Oregon.
“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,” Brown said in a news release. “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.”
Self-quarantine means only interacting with people in your immediate household, staying 6 feet away from others and avoiding trips to the grocery store or other public areas.
The recommendation doesn’t apply to people crossing state lines for essential travel, such as work, immediate medical care or to maintain critical infrastructure.
The advisory is the latest measure intended to slow the spread of the virus as Oregon now has 303 people hospitalized with Covid – the highest number since the pandemic began in February. At least three Portland-area hospitals have started limiting elective surgeries to prepare for an influx of Covid patients as case numbers continue climbing. Salem Hospital has not announced any similar steps.
Hospitalizations typically increase about two weeks after case numbers because it takes time for people sick with Covid to develop serious symptoms.
Brown is holding a press conference at noon Friday to announce additional steps to stop the virus’ spread in Oregon. Last week, she restricted restaurant and indoor venue capacity in nine counties, including Marion.
Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.
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