State Watch

Oregon governor warns violators of coronavirus ‘freeze’ could face jail, hefty fines

Those who violate Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s (D) statewide two-week “freeze” issued over the weekend to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 could face jail time or a hefty fine.

According to The Oregonian, violations of the new order, which prohibits indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than six people from two separate households, amount to misdemeanors.

Those who fail to comply with the restrictions could reportedly be fined $1,250 or placed behind bars for up to a month. People in Oregon faced similar penalties for violating the governor’s stay-at-home order back in March, the paper noted.

A spokesperson for the governor told the outlet that Oregon State Police “will be working with local law enforcement to enforce the Governor’s orders, in the same way local law enforcement officers respond to noise complaints for loud parties, for example, and issue citations.”

“For the last eight months, I have been asking Oregonians to follow the letter and the spirit of the law and we have not chosen to engage law enforcement. At this point in time, unfortunately, we have no other option,” the governor reportedly said over the weekend.

Under Brown’s temporary freeze, which is set to last until early December, restaurants and bars will be reducing their businesses to takeout and delivery options. Gyms, museums and skating rinks will also be required to close during the period. 

The move comes as the state has reported a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. 

According to the paper, nearly 1,100 COVID-19 infections are being added to the state’s caseload on a daily basis. That is more than double the rate the state reported several weeks ago.

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