You are the owner of this article.

Oregonians can travel — but to where is the question

  • 0

Gov. Kate Brown said the far-reaching executive order she issued this week should not stop immediate families from motoring for relaxation or driving to a trailhead, as long as they maintain proper social distancing while hiking.

“The goal here is to limit your social circles. The goal is to stay away from crowds. The goal is to maintain social distancing,” Brown said of Oregon’s efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“Oregonians are very innovative and creative, and I encourage them to comply with the spirit and the letter of the executive order.”

Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton noted most campgrounds and boat ramps are closed, so Oregonians and visitors should research their plans before heading out.

In a letter sent to all police agencies in Oregon, he emphasized Brown’s order was not close to martial law. People don’t need documentation showing they are traveling legally to or from work or other permitted activities.

“There are no curfews and a person’s movements are not restricted under the Governor’s Executive Order,” Hampton wrote. “While details are offered in the order relating to social distancing, specific business closures and non-essential social gatherings, (Oregonians’) movements are generally unrestricted.”

Motorists should not be pulled over under suspicion of violating the executive order. “If, however, you are committing a traffic violation or crime that would be enforced independent of the order, you may be stopped, like any other day,” he wrote.

As Hampton noted, the challenge may be finding a place to recreate.

In her executive order, Brown said the need for a strong “Stay Home, Save Lives” directive was reinforced by seeing crowds had gathered last weekend at the Oregon Coast, Smith Rock State Park, Columbia River Gorge and other places in defiance of social distancing guidelines.

State parks, public and private campgrounds and many other recreation sites now are closed, either under the governor’s order or voluntarily. Oregonians are allowed to go outside for recreation so long as they maintain appropriate social distancing — at least for 6 feet, except for family members living in the same residence.

Oregon’s beloved ocean beaches are not closed but getting there – legally – could be problematic.

“The state parks closure doesn’t impact the ocean shore, but it does close all state park-managed parking lots and beach accesses,” said Liz Merah of the Governor’s Office. “The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has the authority to close the beach temporarily for health reasons.”

And that department said in the FAQs posted online, “If people don’t get the message that clumping up and overwhelming local areas is a bad idea, we’ll have to revisit the decision to leave all beaches open.”

Some coastal cities and counties also have closed beach access, as well as lodging, in part to keep visitors from spreading coronavirus and overwhelming local health facilities.

In the Columbia Gorge, local officials also urged visitors to stay away — for now.

Hood River County Chair Mike Oates, Hood River Mayor Kate McBride and Cascade Locks Mayor Tom Cramblett issued a statement saying: “An influx of visitors creates an undue burden on our efforts to maintain social distancing and strains our supply channels, public safety resources and health care system.

“We look forward to hosting you again when things are back to normal.”

Friends of the Columbia Land Trust also has closed the Mosier Plateau in Oregon and the Lyle Cherry Orchards in Washington. Both are popular for hiking.

But the rules for some activities remain unclear.

At Brown’s Wednesday teleconference with reporters, the governor was asked whether her stay-home order applied to couples in long-term relationships who don’t live together but frequently stay over at one another’s residence.

“Every family is in a different situation,” Brown responded. “The spirit of the executive order is to severely limit your social circles. So that’s all I will say about sleeping together at this point.”

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Coronavirus Sections

Get breaking news!

Coronavirus FAQ

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.

Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

What about imported animals or animal products?

CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.

What precautions should be taken for animals that have recently been imported from outside the United States?

At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets and service animals, can spread COVID-19. As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported should be observed daily for signs of illness. If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently imported from another country.