New Oregon COVID restrictions lead to increased remote learning, less campus activities
In response to growing COVID-19 case numbers across Oregon, Governor Kate Brown announced new two-week coronavirus guidelines for select counties. These guidelines apply to Multnomah, Marion, Jackson, Malheur and Umatilla counties, and may be extended if other counties see similar increases in case numbers.
The [new guidelines] include:
Encouraging businesses to mandate working at home when possible.
Pausing indoor visits to long-term care facilities.
Limiting indoor dining to fifty people (including both customers and staff) within a building, with a maximum group size of six.
Limiting other non-religious indoor activities like gyms and museums to fifty people.
Requesting that households limit contact with those outside the household to a maximum of the same six people, at infrequent intervals.
In the unaffected counties, the same [restrictions] remain in place. Ongoing restrictions include mandatory face masks for all people over five years of age in public indoor spaces and outside where social distancing is not possible, a cap of 10 people for indoor social gatherings, a 100-person total capacity limit for indoor facilities like gyms and restaurants, a cap of 25 people for civic, cultural and religious gatherings, and a recommendation that people remain at home as much as is reasonably possible.
The number of new daily COVID-19 cases in Oregon has been increasing since Oct. 22. From Oct. 25 to Nov. 8, the 14-day average of new daily cases has gone up 96 percent, according to a [report] from The New York Times.
Willamette’s Reopening Committee (ROC) sent an email to students and staff Nov. 9 outlining how Willamette will be responding to the governor’s mandate. For the two weeks remaining during the fall term, Willamette residents are being asked to observe a “quiet period,” starting on Wednesday, Nov. 11. During this quiet period, students who live on campus or attend classes in person are expected to:
Attend classes remotely when possible.
Avoid gatherings of more than six people.
Avoid non-emergency travel before leaving campus for break.
Reduce in-person contact when possible.
Limit traffic in campus buildings.
The ROC also advised students on [the best ways to avoid catching or spreading the coronavirus] while traveling for break, and encouraged students to get a flu shot.