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Gov. Brown pulls back Umatilla, Circuits of Tomorrow due to rapid spread of COVID-19



Umatilla to ‘stay home’ status, Tomorrow in Phase 1

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – Gov. Oregon Gate Kate Brown announced late Thursday that Umatilla County will be moved from Phase 2 back to a basic home stay status, while Morrow County will be transferred to Phase 1 status, both effective at noon Friday.

COVID-19 has spread rapidly in both counties over the past month, the governor noted, adding that both counties were placed on the State Watch List on July 3 and received additional support from state health officials.

“COVID-19 has spread dramatically in both Umatilla and Morrow over the past month,” Brown said. “My heart goes out to the families in Morrow County, Umatilla County and the Confederate Indian Umatilla Reserve Tribes who have been affected by this disease.”

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Brown continued, “If we do not act immediately, we could see the virus spread even faster, infecting and killing more members of the community. I know this is difficult news for business owners and families working in region. “

COVID-19 Information for Umatilla County

  • Umatilla County has more COVID-19 cases per capita than any other Oregon county, at 234 cases per 10,000 people.
  • The county has a weekly test positivity rate of 23%, well above the state average.
  • In the last two weeks, the county has reported an average of 51 new cases a day.
  • About 45% of cases in Umatilla County last week are sporadic cases that cannot be traced back to a known source.
  • The spread of COVID-19 in the county progressed from early outbreaks related to social and family gatherings to outbreaks in large food processing facilities as well as other agricultural facilities, workplaces, nursing homes, correctional facilities, and among health care providers.
  • The Oregon Health Authority provided 7 case investigators and 29 contact trackers in Umatilla County on June 26, and has continued to support the county with case investigators and contact trackers since then.

COVID-19 Update for Morrow County

  • Morrow County has 213 cases per 10,000 people.
  • The county has a weekly test positivity rate of 30%, well above the state average.
  • Morrow County has reported an average of 7 new cases per day over the past two weeks.
  • Approximately 52% of all cases from last week were sporadic cases that could not be traced to a known source.
  • The spread in Morrow County first started with social rallies, but that later led to cases related to large food processing facilities and agricultural facilities.
  • The Oregon Health Authority deployed 2 case investigators and 1 public information officer to Morrow County on July 18th.

“After weeks of trying other measures to control the disease, the only control is to temporarily shut down some businesses and other community equipment,” Brown said. “I hope these measures will help the community quickly control the spread of COVID-19.”

These changes to county reopening status will take effect in 21 days. The governor’s office, together with public health experts, will review the situation and data on a weekly basis and act accordingly, in close communication with county leaders.

In the initial status of stay at home, the following measures apply:

  • All individuals should minimize all non-essential travel and stay in their home or residence as long as possible.
  • All businesses and nonprofits should implement work-from-home or telecommunications policies for employees to the maximum extent possible.
  • Civic, cultural and faith-based meetings are limited to 25 people.
  • All social gatherings inside and outside are limited to 10 people
  • Grocery and retail stores, museums, pharmacies, banks and unions, and gas stations remain open.
  • Restaurants only have to move to go out or just disperse.
  • Gyms, centers, venues, indoor and outdoor entertainment facilities and personal service businesses should be closed.
  • Recreational sports and youth are no longer allowed.
  • Swimming pools, baths, sports fields and playgrounds should be closed.

In Phase 1, recreational sports and youth, venues such as cinemas, bowling alleys, arcades and swimming pools remain closed. Non-essential local travel is allowed. Personal service businesses are allowed to operate with on-site health and safety measures.

Restaurants and bars are open for dinner in service until 10 pm with health and safety measures on site. Closed social meetings remain closed to 10 persons with physical distance, with other meetings limited to 50 closed environments, 50 outside.

This means that indoor gatherings, including meetings based on faith, civic and cultural, are limited to 50 indoor and 50 outdoor.

The full Phase 1 guidance is available here, and all country-wide guidance is available here.


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