Oregon Gov. Kate Brown recently announced that she is imposing new restrictions due to a spike in the spread of COVID-19 in the state. This will restrict restaurants to takeout only, limit in-home gatherings to six people from no more than two families, and limit capacity in church to no more than 25 people indoors or 50 outside.
This closed businesses like gyms, museums, zoos, and indoor recreation facilities. Gov. Brown has threatened criminal sanctions against those who violate these orders under a class C misdemeanor. Violators could face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $1,250.
The stay-at-home order takes effect from Wednesday, Nov. 18, and extends to at least Dec. 2. These restrictions will be in effect on Thanksgiving Day as well, but do not necessarily affect in-person retail this Black Friday. Retail stores are still allowed to hold 75% capacity and will remain open during her two-to-four-week freeze. Oregon is one of the few states with no sales tax. Stores in the Portland metro region note there is an increased number of shoppers coming from Washington State on Black Friday, one of the busiest retail days of the year.
“I think for a lot of stores, 75% capacity isn’t really a big deal. [With] 25% capacity in Washington, plus the sales tax, you would think that would push potentially more customers into the Oregon stores. Oregon, particularly in the Portland region and through the Gorge, we [already] have more stores and larger sales in retail because of the border effect with Washington,” said Josh Lehner, an Oregon state economist.
The new restrictions will take place in some parts of Oregon for longer than two weeks. Gov. Brown said that Multnomah County will be following the guidelines for at least four weeks. Shutting down inside dining and drinking for four weeks has the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association completely distraught. A coalition of state trade groups and chambers of commerce wrote Gov. Brown to insist she delay these new limits on business.
“Resorting to previously enacted restrictions and closures that ultimately punish businesses for spread that is outside of their control is not the right solution. We implore you, Governor, if you are considering additional restrictions or actual closures, please take a pause,” the letter reads.
Gov. Brown’s orders do not affect K-12 schools, sports, and childcare services. Hair salons, barbershops, and massage services can all operate. She claimed that state experts have still not seen clear ties between spiked cases and these sorts of businesses.
“In terms of individuals, I am not asking you. I am ordering you,” Gov. Brown said during her announcement on these strict regulations.
Well, you’ve heard it yourself. Liberals aren’t asking you anymore, they are ordering you. You can be put in jail for having too many people over for Thanksgiving, but go ahead and loot.