Gov. Brown issues two-week freeze, new reopening guidelines

Emma J Nelson, Editor-in-Chief

Governor Kate Brown announced a “freeze” of public gatherings spanning from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2 on Friday, Nov. 13. The two-week pause limited at-home social gatherings, lowered the maximum capacity of stores, restricted restaurants to take-out services only and closed businesses such as gyms, museums and zoos.

As this freeze took place through the Thanksgiving holiday, some Oregonians were upset by the restrictions, due to it limiting their possibility of visiting family and friends.

Chairwoman of the Clackamas County Commissioners Tootie Smith announced that she personally would be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with as many people as she wished, stating online that “Gov Brown is WRONG to order otherwise.” 

Rather than backing down from her statement, Smith appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight to state that she was upset that protests were still being permitted despite Brown’s restrictions on public gatherings.

“We are adults, we do not need to be treated like second-rate slaves,” Smith said in her interview with Carlson. As of press time, Smith has not backed down from her statement.

On Nov. 25, the state announced the new reopening guidelines that are county specific beginning on Dec. 3. Each county has been identified at one of four risk levels based on their current COVID data: Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk and Lower Risk. Those categorized as Extreme Risk counties will face stricter restrictions than were imposed during the two-week freeze, whereas those categorized as Lower Risk will be limited to 10 people per social gathering and 50 percent occupancy of indoor recreation buildings.

As of press time, four counties are at Lower Risk, two are at Moderate Risk, five are at High Risk and 25, including both Washington and Clackamas counties, are at Extreme Risk.