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Brown considers closing Oregon bars, restaurants over COVID-19
Gov. Kate Brown is weighing closing bars and restaurants, but stopped short on a call with reporters Sunday night from announcing a closure.
"I'm looking for an Oregon way to do this. We are looking at that for an option," Brown said.
She's debating a curfew instead of a blanket demand that food-related businesses close, she said.
Brown noted Washington state — where there have been more than 700 COVID-19 cases and 40 deaths — has not yet closed all bars and restaurants.
Shortly thereafter, however, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced the state will indeed shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment facilities as a temporary measure against the spread of the viral illness.
Other states, including California, Ohio, Illinois and Massachusetts, have closed bars and restaurants to slow the virus. New York City announced it will restrict bars and restaurants to take-out and delivery only starting Tuesday, March 17.
The CDC revised its social distancing guidelines Sunday, urging people to avoid gatherings with more than 50 people. Brown has barred gatherings of more than 250 people.
She's worried about the impact coronavirus will have on Oregon's economy and on the service industry.
"We're talking about a lot of very small businesses … These types of decisions will have a real impact on these businesses," Brown said of the possibility of a closure.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with information on closures in Washington and New York City. Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Pamplin Media Group. Read the rest of the story on OPB's website.
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