Seven Things You Should Know about Oregon’s COVID-19 “Pause”

Seven Things You Should Know about Oregon’s COVID-19 “Pause”

Like the rest of the country, Oregon is seeing rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths. With the colder weather driving us inside, we have the highest case counts in Multnomah County since the pandemic began. To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and bring case numbers back down, officials from the State, Multnomah County, and eight other counties are asking everyone to pause(link is external) and limit social gatherings for two weeks, from November 11 through November 25. 

Here’s 7 things you should know about this pause:

1. You’ve been great! 

Oregon has done better than many other states in the fight against COVID-19. By wearing face coverings, washing hands and limiting our in-person gatherings, each one of us has helped to keep our loved ones and communities safer. We have kept our hospitals from being overwhelmed and have saved lives.Thank you for all you’ve done so far. 

2. Don’t give up. 

Many of us are exhausted and feeling down. We want to reconnect in more comfortable ways. Right now though, we must keep up our prevention efforts and adjust our plans to keep loved ones safe. Take care of yourself and reach out for support if you need it.

3. Two weeks really can slow the spread.

At the current rate of infection, Oregon’s public health and hospital systems will be overwhelmed within weeks. By pausing our in-person social activities for the next two weeks, we can keep people separated until everyone who has the virus right now gets through it and can’t spread it anymore. We won’t be able to stop this virus until we have a vaccine, but with this pause, we can disrupt and slow the spread of the virus.

4. Everyone must act to slow the virus.

Limiting gatherings can help lower the number of people who get sick, go to the hospital, or die. Please: 

  • Limit social gatherings to your immediate household or no more than six people. If your gathering includes people from outside your home, consider canceling or postponing the gathering. If you do gather, do it less often and keep the same six people in your social gathering circle.
  • Work from home if at all possible. If you go to work, minimize the time you spend in closed spaces with coworkers, like break rooms or carpools, and wear a mask.
  • Consider canceling holiday travel plans. Canceling this year may be hard, but may also mean we are all here to celebrate next year.  

5. Start the conversations.

Conversations with family and friends about safety and prevention can feel awkward, but they’re so important. Share what you want and need. Listen to what others want and need. Come to an agreement about what feels safe for everyone. Understand people’s disappointment at canceled plans and suggest alternatives to big holiday gatherings or seeing each other in person. 

6. This pause means other changes too. 

Along with limiting personal get togethers, state and county officials require that: 

  • All businesses require working from home as much as possible.
  • Long-term care facilities pause indoor visits to protect staff and residents.
  • Restaurants lower the maximum number of people allowed inside to 50 (including customers and staff), with a maximum party size of six. Emphasize outdoor dining and take out.
  • Lower the maximum number of people for other indoor activities to 50 people (includes gyms, fitness organizations/studios, bowling alleys, ice rinks, indoor sports, pools, and museums).

7. We can do this.

By now, we all know that wearing a face covering, staying six feet apart, washing hands often, staying home when we are sick and limiting contact with others help keep COVID-19 from spreading. Oregonians were able to slow the spread of the virus in the early months of the pandemic. We can do it again. 

Give this two week pause your all. If we act together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19.