Washington County to pause social activities for two weeks to slow the spread of coronavirus

For Immediate Release: Monday, November 09, 2020

Sponsored by: Health and Human Services Department, Public Health Division

The governor has asked Washington County to join eight other Oregon counties where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly to take a two-week pause in social, business and other activities that are driving the spread of coronavirus. The pause will start this Wednesday, Nov. 11 and last until Wednesday, Nov. 25.

As the weather gets colder and people move indoors, coronavirus cases are rising at unprecedented levels across the nation, in Oregon, and in Washington County. More than 100 people in Washington County are testing positive for coronavirus every day, and 88 people have died. 

“The next two weeks are crucial in slowing the spread of this disease. Our hospitals are on the verge of being overwhelmed, our public health workers are already overwhelmed, and we need the public’s help to prevent many more of our loved ones and family members from getting sick and dying,” said Tricia Mortell, Washington County Public Health manager.  

Mortell asked community members to limit gatherings to people within their household, to order takeout rather than going into restaurants, to choose Thanksgiving activities that do not put vulnerable people at risk, and to wear masks outside and inside if they are around people outside of their household.  

She urged residents to follow the governor’s guidance which includes: 

  • 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, and keeping the same six people in your social gathering circle. 

The pause includes all counties with a case rate above 200 per 100,000 people over a two-week period, or more than 60 cases over a two-week period for counties with less than 30,000 people.

Over the past two weeks, Washington County has had 190 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents. In a news release issued by the governor’s office, she said Washington and Clackamas counties were added to the two-week pause because their case rates were just under the threshold and both counties had a significant increase in cases in the last several days. These measures replace the County Watch List that Governor Brown first announced in July.  

Media Contact:

Mary Sawyers, Public Health Communications Coordinator