Coronavirus: Governor Bans Large Public Gatherings for Four Weeks

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has ordered a ban on public gatherings of more than 250 people due to the concerns of the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The ban, announced Wednesday night in a statement released by the governor’s office, said the ban is effective immediately and will last four weeks.

According to the statement, “A gathering is defined as any event in a space in which appropriate social distancing of a minimum of three feet cannot be maintained.”

The Hermiston School District announced today that it is suspending all non-essential school gatherings and group activities now through April 10 out of concerns over the coronavirus.

The district made the announced following Gov. Brown’s statewide ban on large public gatherings of 250 people or more. The district announced today that no spectators will be permitted to attend in-district sporting events. The district is awaiting further communication from partnering districts in the Mid-Columbia Conference regarding spring athletics. Updates will be provided as available.

HSD maintenance staff continue to thoroughly clean district facilities daily and follow routine maintenance processes. The district has also heightened its hygiene education and practice for its students and staff, as thorough hand washing has been recommended as a mechanism to prevent spreading.

The Oregon East Symphony also announced today that its two planned concerts in Pendleton and Hermiston set for Saturday and Sunday have been canceled due to the governor’s ban.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden announced his is postponing several town halls that had been scheduled throughout parts of the state.

The Oregon Health Authority on Wednesday said there were more additional positive tests for COVID-19, meaning the state has at least 21 cases. A second presumptive positive case for the virus in Umatilla County was reported Wednesday. Health officials are awaiting final test results.

The governor’s office recommended that workplaces implement “distancing measures” that include increasing the space between workers at worksites and in offices, holding limited in-person meetings, staggering work schedules when possible and limiting travel.

The governor’s statement on Wednesday also suggested that all nonessential group activities and gatherings related to school be canceled.