After days of delay and public confusion, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has issued an order to Oregonians to stay home whenever possible to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
It takes effect immediately and has no stated end date. Read the full order here.
Oregonians are allowed, and even encouraged, to leave their homes for exercise but may go for walks, hikes or other exercise only if they can stay 6 feet away from others.
As WW reported last night, it is a class C misdemeanor to violate the order, which also prohibits individuals from frequenting businesses ordered to close.
Bars and restaurants have been shuttered since last week, except for takeout service. Food pickup and delivery will be allowed to continue.
The following business are now ordered to close:
Amusement parks; aquariums; arcades; art galleries (to the extent they are open without appointment); barber shops and hair salons; bowling alleys; cosmetic stores; dance studios; esthetician practices; fraternal organization facilities; furniture stores; gyms and fitness studios (including climbing gyms); hookah bars; indoor and outdoor malls (i.e., all portions of a retail complex containing stores and restaurants in a single area); indoor party places (including jumping gyms and laser tag); jewelry shops and boutiques; medical spas, facial spas, day spas, and non-medical massage therapy services; museums; nail and tanning salons; non-tribal card rooms; skating rinks; senior activity centers; ski resorts; social and private clubs; tattoo/piercing parlors; tennis clubs; theaters; yoga studios; and youth clubs.
Businesses not ordered to close at this time: cannabis shops, car dealerships, golf courses and liquor stores, among others.
While the closures apply to public-facing businesses, the order also commands all businesses to have employees work from home if possible, and to ensure 6 feet of separation between workers in an office or factory.
It restricts travel, closes all public basketball courts and playgrounds, and asks day care centers to prioritize care for children of first responders.
The order comes after days of indecision by Brown and mounting pressure from medical groups and Portland-area elected officials, including mayors and county chairs.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler had said he planned to issue an order taking effect in Portland today if the governor did not act.
"I want to thank Gov, Brown for taking the necessary steps to slow the spread of COVID-19," says Wheeler in a statement. "In the absence of a vaccine, the best defense we have right now is protecting the community from infection with social distancing. The governor's statewide Stay Home, Save Lives Order strengthens and reinforces the seriousness of that need."
The Portland Business Alliance, which had argued for a statewide order over a local order, also praised the governor's decision.
"The top economic priority of the business community in our region is an effective public health response. The faster the virus is contained, the faster our economy can resume," says Andrew Hoan, president and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance, the Portland area's chamber of commerce, in a statement. "A statewide 'stay home, stay healthy' order provides certainty across regional boundaries."