Ayla Adkins/The Broadside
For the past two weeks, Oregon has been in a ‘coronavirus freeze.’ The freeze mimicked actions that were taken months ago when many counties were still in Phase One. These actions included closing down gyms, restaurants and bars, social distancing and limiting capacity inside buildings and spaces that could become highly populated.
On Dec. 3, new measures took place specific to each county. Each county also has a risk rating that determines how extreme the limitations for that county will be.
Low risk ‘green’ counties include Sherman, Wheeler, Wallowa and Gilliam.
Moderate risk ‘yellow’ counties include Harney and Tillamook.
High risk ‘orange’ counties include Clatsop, Benton, Lincoln, Curry and Coos.
All remaining counties are labeled as ‘red’ extreme risk counties.
Deschutes County is still labeled as an extreme risk, meaning our measures to keep the public safe more extreme. A few of the limitations include take-out only at restaurants, limiting capacity at pharmacies/stores, and even at home gatherings. Salons and barbershops remain open.
The holiday season just got a lot less jolly since the new measures only allow six people from two families, max, at any home or social gathering.
Jesse Welch, from Deschutes County, said that his family’s holiday plans have changed due to the new measures.
“Christmas has been affected, not only by people not being able to congregate,” Welch said. “But some people are finding it hard to find work. Which means they can’t afford to buy presents for people.”
Welch explained that instead of everyone getting gifts together like usual, they are doing it in clusters with immediate family members to lower the financial costs and abide by social gathering measures set in place by Governor Kate Brown.
Christian Lisignoli, another Central Oregon man, isn’t too thrilled with how the coronavirus measures have impacted his holiday season either. He said that the new standards have, “sucked the joy out of family and friends making what used to be a joyous and fun-filled season.” He had multiple plans canceled and is hoping that 2021 brings the joy that 2020 lacked.
Many people are less than thrilled with these measures and hope to have a much more enjoyable 2021.
Current COVID-19 measures for each county can be found here.