Q: Is the 6-foot distancing guideline still appropriate since the new information says that the virus could be carried on droplets simply from talking, not just sneezing or coughing?
A: Short answer is no. This is why we all need to wear masks when not at home. The bottom line is that we don’t really know with absolute certainty who is infectious, when they become infectious, or how the virus moves through the population.
Q: What if I need to renew my license? If I can't get it renewed, will I be able to get into a pot shop?
A: The OLCC has told us you need a valid license to get into a pot shop, so if yours is expired you won’t be able to get inside. In that case, you can use a passport.
Q: Golf courses are crowded and I have observed not social distancing. Why are they open?
A: Golf courses are allowed to be open in Oregon. Many accept payment over the phone or online, so you aren’t paying in person. Try using single cart usage or no golf cart rentals at all.
Q: Why are we not seeing instructions on types of material, maximum time we should wear masks and how to clean them?
A: The CDC has great information on this. The cloth, made out of a T-shirt or extra cotton fabric, should fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of your face. Secure it with ties or ear loops, and make sure you're using multiple layers of fabric covering your nose and mouth.
You should wash your mask in the washing machine on a daily basis - wash it after each outing. And remember, even with a mask on, you should maintain social distancing. You can still get coronavirus while wearing a mask.
Q: If all of us are staying home where are all the new confirmed cases coming from?
A: It's estimated there are about 10 infected people for every one case we find testing. According to Dr. Claire Wheeler with the OHSU/PSU School of Public Health, coronavirus has an incubation period of 2 to 10 days, which means people who are isolating today might have been exposed a week before isolating.
Q: How can people report businesses that remain open that are on the mandatory COVID-19, stay-at-home closure list, according to Gov. Brown?
A: You can file a report with OSHA online at osha.oregon.gov. If you're in Portland, you can also call the Portland Police Bureau's non-emergency line to report violations: 503-823-3333.
Q: I am a senior citizen. Is it safer for me to shop for groceries during senior hours or regular store hours?
A: Our experts say you're best off shopping - if you have to - when there are fewest people inside the store. This may not necessarily mean shopping during "senior hours" as many stores have created, as concentrating the most vulnerable people in this outbreak into one place is dangerous. On the other hand, senior hours, if they hare held first thing in the morning, usually mean the store has been deep-cleaned as is stocked up.
Q: Have our leaders stated what criteria needs to be met before the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders are lifted? Is it no new cases for “X” number of days? Or will it be some sort of mass-testing process to determine exactly who needs to be isolated and who does not?
A: According to Gov. Brown's office, it's simply unknown when and how they'll make this decision. For now, we have to await our state's "peak" in cases, and stay inside as much as possible.
Q: What is the best way to clean things, like your car steering wheel and your glasses and credit card and your purse that you dropped on a store floor?
A: You should use cleaning solutions that contain at least 70 percent alcohol, according to the CDC. For inside your car, you can use isopropyl alcohol - but don't use bleach or hydrogen peroxide While they can both kill coronaviruses on surfaces, they will likely damage your car’s upholstery. Use a damp microfiber cleaning cloth of screen wipes for eye glasses.
Wash cloth bags regularly in the washing machine and use disinfectant wipes wash to clean plastic or leather bags.
Q: I was wondering if, since we are all at home, if it’s necessary to still constantly clean all surfaces as often as we were when we were all still working and going to school?
A: As long as everyone is staying put, it's OK to relax a little bit. Dr. Claire Wheeler, a Public Health Specialist at OHSU and PSU said she would recommend a no shoes policy in the house. Deliveries should be wiped down, and you should set up a "decontamination" station at your front door.
Q: I'm an independent contractor for Postmates, I pick up food and deliver to people’s homes. Can I go to work?
A: Yes, because you are working in the restaurant business but in a “to go” capacity, you can go to work. If you can, you should limit your interactions with customers – leave food outside the door.
Q: Can I go to my vacation home on the coast during the stay at home order?
A: Yes, nothing in the governor's stay at home order prevents you from going to a home you own. But keep in mind, mayors along the coast have asked people to stay at home instead, because of the low number of hospital beds in those rural areas. The governor has told all Oregonians they should avoid any non-essential travel.
Q: I am curious whether having family members (who live outside the home) are permitted to visit elderly parents during the shelter at home order.
A: Under Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's executive order, you are allowed to travel to visit a family member. However, if you're visiting an elderly individual, you should avoid doing so in the first place, as they are particularly susceptible to getting coronavirus.
If this individual is at an assisted living home, Oregon DHS limited all visitation to essential medical personnel and emergency personnel. You can only visit residents who are in the end of life care.
Q: I work at a construction company. Is my industry considered an essential business and exempt from certain stay at home order provisions?
A: If you cannot work 6 feet apart and maintain social distancing, and you can’t telework, you shouldn’t be working. That business should close according to Gov. Brown’s executive order. On a call with reporters Tuesday, Gov. Brown said she may come out with specifics on what jobs are essential vs. non-essential if they hear people are not complying.
Q: One of the most popular golf courses in Oregon is in the small community of Bandon at the southern coast. They are not closing doing their part to protect their employees from all the guest that come in from states all around Oregon. Are they not following the governor's recommendations because they are exempt??
A: Golf courses are allowed to operate under governor’s exec order but they should be maintaining 6 feet social distancing. If they’re unable to maintain this, they need to close.
Q: Is it true that some hospitals are considering not allowing companions in the delivery rooms?
A: We talked with Portland metro area hospitals including OHSU, Legacy and Providence – all are still allowing a partner to join the birthing process, but only one visitor per patient is allowed at most hospitals.