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Oregon governor orders two-week statewide 'freeze' amid rising coronavirus cases

Oregon governor orders two-week statewide 'freeze' amid rising coronavirus cases
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Oregon Gov. Kate BrownKate BrownOvernight Health Care: Biden unveils vaccine plan with focus on mass inoculations | Worldwide coronavirus deaths pass 2 million | CDC: New variant could be dominant US strain by March Governors say no additional vaccine doses coming, despite Trump admin promise At least 6 GOP legislators took part in Trump-inspired protests MORE (D) on Friday ordered a statewide two-week "freeze," restricting social gatherings and closing many businesses in an effort to help curb the rising spread of COVID-19.

Her orders Friday are some of the most extensive restrictions in the state since a March stay-at-home order, The Oregonian reported.

Beginning Wednesday, bars and restaurants will become takeout only. Indoor facilities such as gyms, museums and skating rinks will close entirely until the order is lifted after Dec. 2.

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Indoor and outdoor gatherings will be limited to no more than six people from two separate households.

Grocery stores and pharmacies will also be required to limit their capacities, and houses of worship are allotted indoor crowds no larger than 25 people.

Anyone traveling to Oregon is also required to quarantine for 14 days upon the arrival.

"I want to be honest," Brown said Friday. "We are trying to stop this ferocious virus from spreading even more quickly and far wide, and to save lives."

She added that some counties could remain in the freeze longer than two weeks, noting that Portland is currently set for four weeks.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said the county's daily case number nearly tripled in the last month, including hundreds of untraceable cases due to the local community spread.

"As the most populous county in Oregon with the bulk of the state's COVID-19 cases and half of the state's hospital beds, we must immediately take steps to slow the current surge," Kafoury said.

She added, "With surges also occurring in neighboring states and across the country, there will be no outside help. We must take aggressive action now to save lives among our local residents.