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Local Business Community Braces For Two-Week Freeze

Rachael McDonald

Restaurants are once again having to make a pivot away from in-person dining as they prepare for the two-week freezeordered by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

The restrictions begin Wednesday and also affect gyms, indoor and outdoor recreation areas, and museums. Brittany Quick-Warner is president and CEO of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. She said some restaurants have been able to adjust to the pandemic, but not all of them are able to do take-out only.

“There’s a lot of logistics that goes into shifting your restaurant from in-person dining to only delivery and pickup and that’s a lot for restaurants to have to pivot in a matter of three or four days and then anticipating it for only two weeks if we’re so lucky to only have a two-week freeze.” Quick-Warner said.

She encouraged people to continue to support local businesses.

“The way that we’re going to to get out of it and we’re going to be able to go back to business as usual is if folks pay attention to it and we actually mask up and we continue to stay safe and we don’t gather in large groups.” Quick-Warner said. “And if folks really want to know how to support local businesses is by doing the things we have to do to get them back open.”

Quick-Warner said some in the business community question the governor’s orders since the majority of recent coronavirus cases are linked to small gatherings, not indoor dining. The two-week freeze also limits social gatherings to no more than six people from no more than two households.

Copyright 2020 KLCC. 

The Two-Week Freeze measures include:

• Limiting social get-togethers (indoors and outdoors) to no more than six people, total, from no more than two households.

• Limiting faith-based organizations to a maximum of 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.

• Limiting eating and drinking establishments to take-out and delivery only.

• Closing gyms and fitness organizations.

• Closing indoor recreational facilities, museums, indoor entertainment activities, and indoor pools and sports courts.

• Closing zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor entertainment activities, and outdoor pools.

• Limiting grocery stores and pharmacies to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.

• Limiting retail stores and retail malls (indoor and outdoor) to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pickup.

• Closing venues (that host or facilitate indoor or outdoor events).

• Requiring all businesses to mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible and closing offices to the public.

• Prohibiting indoor visiting in long-term care facilities (outdoor visitation permitted for supporting quality of life).

The Two-Week Freeze does not apply to or change current health and safety protocols for personal services (such as barber shops, hair salons, and non-medical massage therapy), congregate homeless sheltering, outdoor recreation and sports, youth programs, childcare, K-12 schools, K-12 sports currently allowed, current Division 1 and professional athletics exemptions, and higher education — all of which can continue operating under previous guidance issued by the Oregon Health Authority.

For all other permitted activities listed above, the Oregon Health Authority will be issuing sector-specific guidance within the next week. Sectors without specific prohibitions or guidance must operate under this general employer guidance.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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