Portland should brace for almost a full month of the new COVID-19 restrictions that will go into effect this Wednesday, compared to two weeks for the rest of the state.
Announced by Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Friday, November 13, the majority of the state will begin a “two-week freeze” on Wednesday that will have Oregonians adjusting to a number of new restrictions — shuttered indoor dining and closed gyms among them. Multnomah County, though, should expect the freeze to last four weeks, the governor said.
— Multnomah County Health Dept (@MultCoHealth) November 16, 2020
“I want to be honest about that now. Be prepared. Our actions right now, no matter where in the state you live, are critical,” Governor Brown told the press on Friday.
Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury echoed the governor’s announcement, suggesting that businesses prepare to operate under the new guidance and expect the restrictions to be in place until at least December 16.
“As the most populous county in Oregon with the bulk of the state’s COVID-19 cases and half of the state’s hospital beds, we must immediately take steps to slow the current surge,” Kafoury said in a statement.
She added that the daily COVID-19 case count in the county has tripled in the last month, which may mean thousands more cases per week by the end of November.
Last week, the county’s data clocked in 557 reported coronavirus cases, down from 1,558 cases the week prior. The county is seeing a 10% hospitalization rate and a 3.57% positivity rate.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, following the Governor Brown’s announcement, said the four-week freeze in Multnomah County is a “necessary step to reverse the course of the pandemic.”
“Many Portlanders have made major sacrifices during this pandemic. This freeze, while challenging, will help ensure fewer sacrifices down the road and a strong recovery. And, most importantly, this freeze will save lives,” he said.
The new restrictions taking effect Wednesday include limiting restaurants and bars to takeout and delivery only; closing gyms, zoos, museums, and indoor recreation facilities; and limiting social gatherings to no more than six people (from only two households) both indoors and outdoors.
You can find a full list of the new measures here.