PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - With the holidays approaching and Oregonians now three days into a statewide shutdown, there remain a lot of questions.
Many people believe this two-to-four-week freeze will last far beyond that. So, what exactly does Gov. Kate Brown need to see to reopen the economy?
Brown said Friday in a one-on-one interview with FOX 12 that she is making her decisions based on science and data.
“It all depends on the case rates and, honestly, it’s each one of us really being careful about limiting our social interactions,” she said on Friday.
The governor wasn’t willing to say whether it’ll take a certain metric to end a freeze.
“The reality is, obviously, there’s no playbook for this. My top priority is to preserve our hospital capacity, our healthcare workforce, and to make sure that Oregonians stay healthy and safe,” Brown said.
Gym, restaurant, and bar owners are frustrated to be closed during the shutdown, amid lack of evidence of widespread outbreaks in their businesses.
Brown said both indoor and outdoor dining are dangerous right now given the enormous amount of community spread.
“When you are eating and drinking, you take off your mask. It increases the risk of transmission,” Brown said. “I’m absolutely committed to getting our businesses open as quickly as possible, as soon as we all take steps to reduce the spread and lower the transmission.”
On Friday, the Oregon Health Authority announced the state is changing the way it tracks COVID-19 testing.
Health experts say the state was significantly undercounting, because it was only reporting the number of people tested and not the number of tests performed.
“Let me give you a real-life example,” Brown said. “I’ve now been tested three times for [COVID-19]. And under our current system, I’m only shown as one person. Moving forward, it will show that I’ve had three tests. I think that’s a pretty common-sense change given the new evidence and data we’re seeing."
FOX 12 also asked the governor whether she’ll enact a state curfew, like California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Brown said she discussed it several weeks ago with state medical experts but doesn’t feel that it makes sense for Oregon.
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