Armed with recent COVID-19 modeling suggesting cases are coming down, Gov. Kate Brown and state health officials urged Oregonians on Friday to spend Labor Day weekend safely, to avoid a repeat of past post-holiday spikes.
"Our collective efforts appeared to be slowing the spread of the virus for the time being. But we need to keep up the pressure to reopen schools for classroom instruction," said Oregon Health Authority Patrick Allen. "Let's keep up the pressure. We're making a difference."
The Brown administration is trying to resume in-class instruction for K-12 as soon as possible though many teachers and parents have concerns about the idea.
They cited recent numbers as suggesting the state is getting closer. The state's latest projections suggest that for the first time in months the coronavirus reproduction rate has dropped below one, to 0.9, meaning each 100 cases would lead to only 90 new ones, thanks to physical distancing, other measures, and the resulting reductions in transmission.
So far, 475 people in Oregon have died with COVID-19, and more than 27,000 are either confirmed through testing or presumed by symptoms and exposure to have had the disease.
Brown, for her part, said she is asking Oregonians, "please don't let your fatigue with these restrictions take us away from our collective goal of reducing infection and preventing death. We're truly all in this together. The more we all follow good safety practices, the safer you and your family will be."
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