Understanding statewide pauses & freezes to curb the spread of COVID-19

Understanding statewide pauses & freezes to curb the spread of COVID-19

Washington County has seen exponential growth in daily cases since the end of October. After the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Washington County on February 28, daily case counts began to peak in the low 20s. As the county entered Phase 1 in June under the Governor’s Re-opening framework, daily cases grew, spiking at 75 on July 16, but then declined by the end of the summer. Daily case counts so far this November are routinely over 100 – five times as many cases as the county experienced in the early days of the pandemic – and given that people are likely to spend more time indoors during the cold weather months, the trend is for higher case counts to come.

“Unfortunately, our collective efforts to convince people to modify their behavior to slow the spread of this disease haven’t been successful,” said Public Health Division Manager Tricia Mortell. “Sometimes policies are necessary to bring about meaningful change.”

Under a Two-Week Pause, the governor is:

  • Urging all businesses to mandate work from home to the greatest extent possible.
  • Pausing long-term care facility visits that take place indoors to protect staff and residents.
  • Reducing maximum restaurant capacity to 50 people (including customers and staff) for indoor dining, with a maximum party size of six. Continuing to encourage outdoor dining and take out.
  • Reducing the maximum capacity of other indoor activities to 50 people (includes gyms, fitness organizations/studios, bowling alleys, ice rinks, indoor sports, pools, and museums).
  • Limiting social gatherings to your household, or no more than six people if the gathering includes those from outside your household, reducing the frequency of those social gatherings (significantly in a two-week period), and keeping the same six people in your social gathering circle.

Under the statewide Two-Week Freeze, the governor is:

  • Limiting social get-togethers (indoors and outdoors) to no more than six people, total, from no more than two households.
  • Limiting faith-based organizations to a maximum of 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.
  • Limiting eating and drinking establishments to take-out and delivery only.
  • Closing gyms and fitness organizations.
  • Closing indoor recreational facilities, museums, indoor entertainment activities, and indoor pools and sports courts.
  • Closing zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor entertainment activities, and outdoor pools.
  • Limiting grocery stores and pharmacies to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.
  • Limiting retail stores and retail malls (indoor and outdoor) to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.
  • Closing venues (that host or facilitate indoor or outdoor events).
  • Requiring all businesses to mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible and closing offices to the public.
  • Prohibiting indoor visiting in long-term care facilities (outdoor visitation permitted for supporting quality of life).

In addition, Governor Brown and public health experts are continuing to emphasize the importance of wearing masks more diligently, keeping physically distant from those outside of one’s own household, limiting social contacts, washing hands often and staying home when sick.

Washington County’s COVID-19 response resource line can be reached at 503-846-8123. Get connected to additional assistance by calling 2-1-1.