As COVID-19 infections across Oregon surge and Clackamas County and 14 others prepare to enter the "extreme risk" category on Friday, April 30, the Clackamas Board of County Commissioners is urging community members to do their part in helping slow the transmission of the disease as the fourth wave begins to wreak havoc on the economy and shutter businesses.
"We can turn this around only by reducing the rise of COVID cases whatever the cause: increased community activity, emerging new variants or vaccine hesitancy," the message states. "We implore you to work with your fellow Oregonians to get your shot, wear your mask and keep your distance."
The board voted 4-1 — with Commissioner Mark Shull dissenting — to approve pushing out the message which also includes some information on federal programs available to certain businesses such as restaurants that will be coming online Monday, May 3, to offer more than $28 billion in recovery resources.
"We will continue to press the governor for better notice, collaboration and certainty in the days ahead so our economy can rebuild. We urge you to help us make this case by doing your part to keep our community safe and strong," commissioners said.
Also this week:
The Clackamas Board of County Commissioners were joined by 75 other county leaders from across the state in signing a letter drafted by the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association and Association of Oregon Counties requesting that Gov. Kate Brown lift state mandated business restrictions on Oregon communities while empowering their local county health authorities to "uphold high expectations for ongoing health and safety measures as recommended by the CDC."
In a separate statement this week, ORLA President and CEO Jason Brandt blasted the latest round of business restrictions as "arbitrary" and lacking published data that links community spread to business environments such as restaurants.
"The move by the Governor's Office is tone deaf and offensive to tens of thousands of Oregonians working in restaurants and bars across our state attempting to pay their bills. COVID-19 closures and restrictions on indoor dining are clobbering Oregon's restaurants, bars and hospitality sector," Brandt said. "We've seen more than 1,000 close because of the pandemic recession. The uncertainty and arbitrary nature of targeting restaurants has made it impossible for these local businesses to plan during a time when they're already struggling to survive. The governor should stop blaming restaurants as the source of COVID-19 spikes. It is blatant discrimination against our local businesses. Instead, we should focus on what we know will work – vaccinating all Oregonians."
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