PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown held a press conference on Friday to announce a two-week "freeze" on certain activities to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The announcement came after a huge spike in cases of the coronavirus: Oregon has averaged nearly 900 new cases per day over the last nine days.
Among the new restrictions, restaurants and bars will be limited to takeout only, and recreational facilities and venues that host indoor or outdoor events will be closed.
Dr. Esther Choo, an emergency medicine physician at Oregon Health & Science University, joined Brown at the press briefing and gave an emotional plea for members of the community to adhere to the new restrictions. She said it will help save her life and the lives of her family members, neighbors and friends, and the essential workers across the state.
"Many of you cheered and rang bells and put up signs calling us heroes, and we're so grateful for that," Choo said. "Right now, we're asking you to be our heroes and to listen to our call for help again."
She also described the extreme loneliness that comes with COVID-19 hospitalization.
"The really heartbreaking thing about the nature of this disease is that when people come into the hospital they're isolated, right when they need support and company and love the most," Dr. Choo said. "It has been really hard for me to see people in the hospital, isolated and alone like that."
She said while Oregon was fortunate through the spring and summer to have avoided overwhelming the health care system, that will not be the case for much longer if Oregonians continue to flout COVID-19 guidelines.
"Now is the time to double down on the only truly effective measures to stop this virus: Wear a mask, keep your physical distance, wash your hands, and for the next two weeks, please, stay home."
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