GROW MALHEUR

Face covering requirements apply to indoor public spaces, take effect on Wednesday, July 1.

Governor Kate Brown announced today that Oregonians statewide will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, beginning this Wednesday July 1. The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces. Face covering requirements are already mandated in eight counties.

“From the beginning of the reopening process, I have said that reopening comes with the risk of seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases beyond our health systems’ capacity to test, trace, and isolate them,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Over the last month, we have seen the disease spread at an alarming rate in both urban and rural counties. The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference.

“Modeling from the Oregon Health Authority shows that if we don’t take further action to reduce the spread of the disease, our hospitals could be overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations within weeks.

“The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter.

“Face coverings that cover your nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of this disease because droplets from our breath can carry the virus to others without us realizing it. If we all wear face coverings, practice six feet of physical distancing in public, wash our hands regularly, and stay home when we are sick, then we can avoid the worst-case scenarios that are now playing out in other states.

“I do not want to have to close down businesses again like other states are now doing. If you want your local shops and restaurants to stay open, then wear a face covering when out in public.

“Please keep your Fourth of July celebrations small and local. We saw a lot of new COVID-19 cases following the Memorial Day holiday. Another spike in cases after the upcoming holiday weekend could put Oregon in a dangerous position.

“Oregonians have all made incredible sacrifices over the last several months that have saved thousands of lives. The actions we take now can protect our friends, neighbors, loved ones, and fellow Oregonians from this disease, and prevent the need for another statewide shutdown. We are truly all in this together.”

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) will take the lead, along with other state and local agencies, in enforcing face covering requirements for all covered Oregon businesses.

A lot is happening and we want to keep you informed! The Malheur County Reopening Plan to enter Phase I tomorrow, May 15th has been approved. See the below bullet points for important resources regarding this exciting event.

  • Recordings from the Sector Specific Business Reopening Webinars are available for viewing.

  • Information on local businesses selling cloth face coverings is posted.

  • The Vale Drive-Up COVID-19 Testing Site is today at the City Park/Pool Parking Lot from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

  • Help us share the Safe + Strong website with information for the public to stay prepared.

Ryan Bailey was recently hired as the assistant to the director at Malheur County Economic Development. He was raised in Stanfield and has deep roots in Eastern Oregon. Ryan attended Eastern Oregon University, where he will be graduating with a bachelor’s in computer science, and a minor in economics. He previously worked at Corwin Company in La Grande as IT/Graphics arts and has taken advantage of multiple internship opportunities with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Eastern Oregon University Small Business Development Center.

“I am extremely excited to be starting this position and eager to meet the incredible people throughout the county,” Bailey said.

Greg Smith, Director of Economic Development for Malheur County said, “We are very pleased to add Ryan to our economic development team. His ability to connect with people, his background, and educational experience will be strong assets as we work together to keep Malheur County’s economy strong and vibrant.”

Smith added, “There will be new challenges as the economy reopens and we stand ready to assist and lead. We encourage entrepreneurs, existing business owners, and those considering relocating to Malheur County to contact us today.”

The Malheur Economic Development team can be reached by calling 541-889-6216 or malheurcountyedc@gmail.com.