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Lincoln County Restricts Short-term Lodging To Curtail COVID-19 Spread

City of Newport

As of Tuesday hotels, motels, and RV parks in Lincoln County can no longer accept short-term lodgers. The temporary order is meant to limit the spread of coronavirus to locals. 

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners approved the emergency measure at a meeting Monday night with its coastal cities including Newport, Lincoln City, and Yachats. The county announced its first positive COVID-19 case on Tuesday.  

Specifically, the ban targets short-term stays that are less than 30 days. This includes rentals like Airbnb and camping grounds. The move was a response to heavy tourism on the coast last weekend.

“Whether people are coming to the coast, or people from the coast are going to the valley it’s the same situation,” Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer said at the meeting. “There needs to be a valid reason for travel, not just purely recreation and those sorts of things during this emergency time.”

The temporary ban follows Governor Kate Brown’s “Stay at Home” order limiting travel. Officials at the meeting stressed that none of the roads  will be closed, and the borders will remain open.

The order comes with several exceptions for guests including those staying longer than 30 days and patients, or families of patients receiving medical care at a local facility.

Property owners have until Wednesday at 12 pm to cancel all guest stays subject to the order. The lodging restrictions are expected to end April 30.

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.