School closure length uncertain in face of new four-week state ban on large groups
Monday, March 16, 2020
Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday, March 16, the state is canceling all gatherings larger than 25 people for at least four weeks, starting Tuesday.
State officials will re-evaluate the closure of public schools in the face of the new ban, Brown said at the news conference, and they will announce further decisions in the next few days.
Brown ordered school closed last week from March 16 until April 1. There has been no change to that timetable yet, according to an Oregon Department of Education spokesperson.
Workplaces, stores, pharmacies and other essential locations are exempt, but restaurants must halt on-site service. The state is also declaring an “abnormal market disruption” to prevent price gouging on items such as cleaning products and toilet paper.
Brown’s news conference included the announcement of the formation of two command groups to help manage the state’s resources and the health care system. The state’s goal is to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, so hospitals will have the capacity to deal with cases.