Correction on Nov. 13: This story was updated to reflect that the two-week freeze doesn't apply to safety protocols for personal services, including barber shops, hair salons and non-medical massage therapy.
This story was updated at 4:45 p.m. with information from the University of Oregon regarding the statewide shutdown
Oregon is set to roll back some of its phase two reopening guidelines for two weeks, starting on Nov. 18. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown made the announcement Friday in a press conference.
Maximum capacity in retail and grocery stores will be reduced to 75%. Bars and restaurants will revert back to takeout only, with both indoor and outdoor dining being unavailable while the order is in effect. Fitness centers are also set to close for the two-week period. The order limits places of worship to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
The freeze doesn't apply to safety protocols for "personal services," including barber shops, hair salons and non-medical massage therapy, according to a press release issued Friday.
Social get-togethers will also be limited to two households at a maximum of six people per gathering, Brown said. This means that a maximum of two different households will be able to socialize with each other during the two week period.
The University of Oregon announced they will close the Rec Center, museums and make all on-campus dining options grab-and-go. All classes will continue as normal and go full remote as planned starting on Nov. 30.
Brown will issue an executive order to legally enforce the shutdown and law enforcement will be issuing Class C Misdemeanors — punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,250, or both — for those disobeying the order.
“We have no other option,” Brown said.
Brown said businesses will be expected to comply with the order by Nov. 18 and the lead time from the announcement until the shutdown date was implemented to avoid the complications that followed the more abrupt shutdown in the spring.
After two weeks, the Oregon Health Authority will measure the state’s progress in flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases. OHA experts said that some counties in Oregon will likely be required to follow the order for longer than two weeks. Brown said that Multnomah County will likely be required to follow this order for four weeks.
Dr. Dean Sidelinger, State Health Officer and State Epidemiologist at the OHA, said that social gatherings were the number one reason that there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Brown gave an example of how Thanksgiving would look during this two week freeze. The celebration would include one other household, six people at most, with every individual physically distancing and wearing masks if they are not actively eating or drinking.
A 14-day quarantine will be mandatory after traveling outside of the state, according to the order. Residents are advised to work from home whenever possible.
Sidelinger added that they are seeing high rates of COVID-19 on college campuses and that students should limit their activities in the coming week before returning home for the holidays. Thursday, Nov. 12, marked two weeks before Thanksgiving and the last day to start the recommended two-week quarantine.
Mandatory testing for on-campus students will begin on Nov. 16, ahead of the “November break,” during which all classes will move to remote so students can stay home until the end of winter break. For students living off campus, the University of Oregon is providing free, voluntary tests on Nov. 20, 23 and 24; students can use this link to sign up for a limited spot.
A response from UO regarding the statewide, temporary shutdown is still pending.
This is a developing story. Follow the Emerald’s coverage for the latest.