Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is in active conversations about the potential of travel restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 between states.
Brown’s Press Secretary Liz Merah responded in a statement to sister publication Curry Coast Pilot on Wednesday, Aug. 5, stating in recent weeks, doctors, health experts and case investigators have reported seeing cases linked to interstate travel.
“The issue of travel restrictions was raised by members of the Governor’s Medical Advisory Panel based on COVID-19 cases linked to travel in southern Oregon, which is troubling based on the spikes in case counts California is currently experiencing,” Merah said. “County-level COVID-19 data from across the country likewise shows increasing case counts between linked communities across state borders.”
Merah said Brown is asking health experts at the Oregon Health Authority and the Medical Advisory Panel for more data on travel-related spread of COVID-19, as well as recommendations for health and safety measures to address such cases. In conversations with legislators Aug. 5, the office also discussed the reality that many Oregonians in communities on the state’s borders often cross those borders for work, and that any restrictions must take economic and supply chain implications into account.
“As the governor has stated previously, our focus is on restrictions related to tourist travel from hotspot states and communities,” Merah said. “Conversations are ongoing about how those restrictions could work.”