Oregon to ban restaurants inside restaurants in 15 counties amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Governor Kate Brown on Thursday extended Oregon’s state of emergency for COVID-19 until June 28, saying a fourth outbreak of the pandemic was due to variants of the disease and was causing an increase in cases and hospitalizations.

The statement allows Brown to issue executive orders limiting activity and helps the state use federal COVID relief funds, the governor’s office said.

Brown is putting 15 counties that encompass the state’s largest cities in the state’s extreme risk category as of Friday, imposing restrictions that include banning eating at indoor restaurants.

The restaurant industry has opposed Brown’s action, with the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association saying the state lost more than 1,000 restaurant businesses in 2020 and 200 more have so far shut this down for good. year.

Brown says his actions are temporary.

“I intend to fully reopen our economy by the end of June, and the day is approaching when my emergency orders can eventually be lifted,” Brown said in a statement. “How quickly we get there is up to each of us doing our part.”

Brown said more than 1.2 million people in the state have been fully vaccinated, but that “the overwhelming majority” of new cases are from younger, unvaccinated residents. Oregon’s population is over 4.2 million.

She said hospitalizations had nearly doubled in the past two weeks, to over 300.

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