Business, CORONAVIRUS, Oregon

Oregon orders restaurants, bars shut to all but takeout and delivery service for four weeks to prevent spread of coronavirus

Oregon Governor Kate Brown held a press conference with state and local government officials Thursday morning in Portland to talk about coronavirus plans and protocols in the state. March 12, 2020. Beth Nakamura/Staff

Coronavirus resources: CDC on the coronavirusOregon Health Authority resourcesWashington County resourcesOregonian reporting on the coronavirusOPB glossary of coronavirus termsNYTimes free reporting on the coronavirus

This article was originally published by the Oregonian/OregonLive, one of more than a dozen news organizations throughout the state sharing their coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak to help inform Oregonians about this evolving health issue.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Monday afternoon ordered Oregon restaurants and bars to stop all on-site dining and limit sales to takeout and delivery.

Additionally during a news conference, Brown said she plans to ban gatherings of more than 25 people for at least a month, while urging Oregonians to avoid being around more than 10 people at a time. Exemptions to the closure list include grocery stores, pharmacies, retail stores and workplaces.

“Can your business do the equivalent of restaurant takeout?” Brown asked. “If you cannot do that, I strongly urge you to close your doors to customers temporarily.”

The decision came hours after Brown announced she was not ready to impose a curfew or broader shutdown on bars and restaurants, despite new federal recommendations against gatherings of 50 or more. Meanwhile, dozens of restaurants announced voluntary closures, and more than 100 chefs, bartenders, bakers, winemakers and more signed an open letter asking the governor to order a blanket closure.

Portland-area restaurants including the upscale vegan restaurant Farm Spirit, the modern Jewish deli Beetroot and the Seattle-based steakhouse chain El Gaucho began announcing dining room closures last week, most with plans to test out more takeout and delivery service. Then, on Sunday, a major domino fell when one of Portland’s most prominent restaurant groups, ChefStable, announced all 20 of its restaurants and bars would close, with some continuing to offer food to-go via takeout or delivery. By the time of Brown’s announcement, dozens of other restaurants and bars had joined the list of closures.

This is a developing story

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