Is Oregon 'safe' for Thanksgiving Day celebrations?
Here's something to make Tootie Smith smile: Oregon is considered the 14th safest state in the nation for a Thanksgiving celebration.
That's according to WalletHub a Washington, D.C., financial information firm. A new company survey of all 50 states released Wednesday, Nov. 18, found that when nearly a dozen factors are figured in, Oregon was No. 14 on the national list for safest conditions for the Thanksgiving holiday. Vermont was No. 1 on the survey list. Washington was No. 5. California checked in at No. 12.
WalletHub's survey took into account how states were dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and general safety issues, like the crime rate and the number of intoxicated-driving fatalities in November.
Other factors included the COVID-19 death rate per capita, the number of positive coronavirus tests per capita, the hospitalization rate for virus patients and whether states have a mandatory mask requirement. The survey also looked at whether local restaurants were following health guidelines and the number of homes with adequate access to broadband services for such things as Zoom gatherings, online education and remote work.
Oregon has more than 56,000 COVID-19 cases, with nearly 800 deaths. Increasing cases during the past few weeks has promoted state action to slow the virus spread. WalletHub's survey was released the day Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's two-week freeze went into effect, curtailing a number of businesses and activities. Brown's Nov. 13 executive order called for people to limit their Thanksgiving Day celebrations to six or fewer family members or people who live in a household. It also directed restaurants, bars and pubs to shut down in-person service and limited grocery stores to 75% capacity.
Brown's restrictions come with a threat of punishment if violated.
"I expect local law enforcement to continue to use an education first approach, but Oregonians need to understand that these rules are enforceable under law," Brown said. "We need all Oregonians to use common sense, make smart choices, and take seriously their individual responsibilities during a public health emergency."
Clackamas County's Chair-elect Tootie Smith, who takes office in January, responded to Brown's order Nov. 14 with a Facebook posting saying she planned to host a big holiday gathering with "as many family and friends as I can find." She has so far spread that message in local media and on Fox News shows.
WalletHub's top 15 safest states for Thanksgiving Day celebrations are:
3. New Hampshire
4. New York
9. New Jersey
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