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'We’re here to sound the alarm': Gov. Brown limits indoor gatherings in Oregon

Starting Wednesday, face coverings will be required outside if people cannot keep a distance of more than 6 feet away from others.

PORTLAND, Ore — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown announced a ban on indoor gatherings of more than 10 people in an effort to slow the spread.

The new rule does not apply to businesses at this time, Brown said.

Oregon will also expand face mask requirements outdoors. Starting Wednesday, July 15, face coverings will be required outside if people cannot keep a distance of more than 6 feet away from others.

“We’re here to sound the alarm,” Brown said. “We are at risk of letting the virus spiral out of control.”

Brown stressed that all Oregonians need to wear masks, keep their distance from others and wash their hands often.

“I hope I don’t have to go the route of Texas and California and close bars and restaurants,” said Brown. “Nothing is off the table.”

Oregon saw more new cases of the coronavirus last week than it did during the entire month of May, Brown said.

Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said new cases are projected to triple over the next six weeks.

State epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger said modeling shows troubling scenarios for Oregon.

“Even if Oregon reduced transmissions by 10% we would still see an increase in cases week over week,” Sidelinger said.

On Sunday, the OHA announced 332 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 12,170.

The state’s death toll is 234 people.

Last week, state health leaders asked people to voluntarily limit their in-person gatherings to 10 people or less. 

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