PORTLAND, Oregon — As coronavirus cases climb nationwide, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and California Governor Gavin Newsom issued travel advisories Friday.
They are urging people coming into their states or people returning home to self-quarantine in order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
People are advised to avoid non-essential travel out of state, self-quarantine for 14 days after coming from another state or country, and stay local.
Non-essential travel is defined as tourism or recreational. Essential travel is defined as travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.
The advisories also recommend people only interact with those who live in their household.
“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines. As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them,” Gov. Brown said in a press release Friday. “If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”
“COVID cases have doubled in Washington over the past two weeks. This puts our state in as dangerous a position today as we were in March,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “Limiting and reducing travel is one way to reduce the further spread of the disease. I am happy to partner with California and Oregon in this effort to help protect lives up and down the West Coast.”
Gov. Brown and Gov. Inslee attribute most of the spread in Oregon and Washington to social gatherings of all sizes, particularly relating to Halloween and more people heading indoors as temperatures get colder.
During a news conference at noon Friday, Gov. Kate Brown plans to announce new measures “to address Oregon’s alarming spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.”
KGW will stream the governor’s announcement in this story, on KGW.com, the KGW News app and KGW’s YouTube page.
Brown’s announcement comes on the heels of Oregon reporting 1,122 new coronavirus cases Thursday, the most in a single day so far during the pandemic.
The governor has already taken some steps to try and slow the spread of COVID-19. Nine counties, where there were especially high transmission rates, began a two-week pause Wednesday on social activities. That brought a new set of restrictions on gatherings, including those at businesses such as restaurants.
In a recorded message Thursday, Brown said the state is reaching a breaking point.
"Even more Oregonians are going to become infected with COVID-19 if we do not change course right now," Brown said. "Our hospital beds are filling to capacity and our doctors and nurses are working day and night. If we do not act immediately, we will soon reach a breaking point.
"Our communities and our economy will be hit on a scale that was unimaginable even a few short weeks ago, and unfortunately, many more Oregonians will die. We have already lost too many."