Governor presses ‘pause’ on reopening


As of Wednesday (June 16), Lane County reported 88 positive test results for individuals infected with the novel coronavirus COVID-19, with 3 of those individuals dying from the disease.

Of those, 79 individuals have recovered and 8 of those with confirmed cases are resting at home.

The relatively small number of cases reported in Lane County came through the 2,370 COVID-19 tests conducted last week, which brings the total number of tests given to 12,051 since the beginning of February.

Meanwhile, neighboring Douglas County reported a total of 29 cases as of Tuesday, with no new reported cases in the last 11 days (as of June 16).

Both Lane and Douglas counties are currently in Phase II of the state’s reopening plan, with any future changes now delayed by at least one week — possibly longer.

While both counties have seen a comparatively small increase in confirmed cases of COVID in the past 10 days, other counties in the state have reported troubling increases in infection spread.

Across the state, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported nearly 100 new cases in a 24-hour period, with 184 cases reported Monday before jumping to 278 confirmed cases of COVID-19 by noon Tuesday — marking the largest single-day spike in confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic’s spread in Oregon.

Tuesday, Lincoln County, which has seen a major surge in reported cases due to an outbreak at the Pacific Seafood fish and shellfish packaging and distribution plant, became the first county in Oregon to require maskwearing in indoor public spaces.   

Gov. Kate Brown held a press conference Monday to announce a slowing of the reopening process, which has most counties in the midst of implementing Phase II Reopening protocols.

“The noticeable increase in COVID-19 infections in Oregon over the past week is cause for concern. In order to ensure that the virus is not spreading too quickly, I am putting all county applications for further reopening on hold for seven days. This is essentially a statewide ‘yellow light.’ It is time to press ‘pause’ for one week before any further reopening,” Brown said.

According to the governor, this one-week pause will give public health officials time to assess what factors are driving the spread of the virus and determine if they need to adjust the state’s approach to reopening.

“I will work with doctors and public health experts to determine whether to lift this pause, extend it or make other adjustments,” Brown stated.

 The increasing number of cases Brown referred to in the governor’s press conference included reports from Multnomah, Hood River, Marion and Polk County, all of which show increases — some as high as 40 percent — over the previous week.

Lane County currently allows outdoor recreation, retail stores, gyms, bars and restaurants for dine-in services, and personal-care businesses such as salons and barbershops with the following limitations:

  • Gathering limits of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
  • Indoor and outdoor venues, including theaters and churches, with 6 feet of physical distancing and other measures in place, can reach a COVID-19 occupancy limit of up to 250.
  • Offices can begin reopening and employees can return to workplaces with physical distancing and other measures in place, though remote work is still strongly recommended whenever possible.
  • Increased travel is allowed throughout Oregon, though staying local is still recommended to prevent overloading county health systems.
  • Restaurant and bar curfews are extended to midnight where applicable.
  • Many pools and sports courts are allowed to reopen under new guidance.
  • Indoor and outdoor activities such as bowling, batting cages and mini golf are allowed to reopen under new guidance.
  • Recreational sports can resume in a limited form, under strict physical distancing guidance.

Cottage Grove is following the guidance provided by state and Lane County Health authorities and is implementing required procedures at the county level.

Lane County has a website page that is completely dedicated to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This page includes specific recommendations for many types of businesses and workplaces recommending the best practices to be utilized, for their individual circumstances at this time.

For more information, go to lanecounty.org.

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