Yesterday the announcement that Oregon had made a “Western States Pact” with both Washington and California was broadcasted to the residents on the West Coast. The goal of the Western States Pact is to create a shared vision in how the economy of all three states may reopen while controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus as businesses get back to work. Today, Governor Brown held a press conference that, to some, held less information than one would desire.
To start, the restaurant ban on dine-in services that was set to expire within the next few days has been extended “indefinitely.” Citing the need to proceed with caution, the Governor then began to outline the five steps that will need to happen before Oregon is ready to reopen. They are:
- Oregon needs to slow the growth of the COVID-19 virus and see a reduced amount of cases.
- Oregon needs to have enough personal protective equipment for the medical professionals.
- Every part of the state needs to have an increased capacity to test for the virus.
- A “robust” contact-tracing system to find out who may have been newly exposed to the virus must be developed.
- An effective isolation and quarantine program for those who test positive for the virus must be put in place state-wide.
While all of these are sensible, there was much information left to be detailed out to the public, including what the state’s definition of reduced cases would be, how a contract-tracing system may be developed that does not push the bounds of personal privacy too far, and how these five steps integrate with the Western States Pact.
It is unclear how much will fully be disclosed, or when, but with an increased amount of briefings, hopefully more information will be coming to Oregon residents shortly.