Wheeler: Show local businesses some love during freeze
Mayor Ted Wheeler fielded questions from reporters after making brief remarks about the state's upcoming, two-week public activity freeze — in light of the pandemic — during a morning press conference on Monday, Nov. 16.
The key message from the mayor's remarks was encouraging Portlanders to buy local during the holiday season in an effort to support local businesses while they are most vulnerable.
"Restaurant owners — particularly mom and pop (stores) — were willing to bankroll the last closure with their own savings," Wheeler said. "They've already gone through those savings, they don't have more savings. And, in some cases, they've already mortgaged their homes."
"My ask of the public is, let's support some of these restaurants," he continued. "Let's show these restaurants some love, because if we want them to be there on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis, we've got to support them now."
Shortly after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday that she is implementing a statewide "two-week freeze," and a "four-week freeze" in COVID-19 hotspots like Multnomah County, Wheeler said he supported the decision.
In a statement, Wheeler said the four-week freeze in Multnomah County "is a necessary step to reverse the course of this pandemic."
"Many Portlanders have made major sacrifices during this pandemic. This freeze, while challenging, will help ensure fewer sacrifices down the road and a strong recovery. And, most importantly, this freeze will save lives," he said.
Both the two- and four-week freezes begin Wednesday, Nov. 18.
The freeze measures
• Limiting social get-togethers (indoors and outdoors) to no more than six people, total, from no more than two households.
• Limiting faith-based organizations to a maximum of 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.
• Limiting restaurants and bars to take-out only.
• Closing gyms and fitness organizations.
• Closing indoor recreational facilities, museums, indoor entertainment activities, and indoor pools and sports courts.
• Closing outdoor recreational facilities, zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor entertainment activities, and outdoor pools.
• Limiting grocery stores and pharmacies to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pick-up.
• Limiting retail stores and retail malls (indoor and outdoor) to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pick-up.
• Closing venues that host or facilitate indoor or outdoor events.
• Requiring all businesses to mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible and closing offices to the public.
• Prohibiting indoor visiting in long-term care facilities.
The freeze does not affect current protocols for personal services like barbershops, hair salons or non-medical massage therapy. It also does not change protocol for homeless sheltering, outdoor recreation and sports, youth programs, childcare, K-12 schools, K-12 sports currently allowed, current Division 1 and professional athletics exemptions and higher education. All will continue to follow previous guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority.
Brown said the measures are enforceable by law.
KOIN News 6 is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their story can be found here.
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