Reopening Multnomah County is inconsistent with both Gov. Brown’s plan and CDC Guidance

Media Contacts
Numi Lee Griffith

OSPIRG calls for transparency, consistent application of science


SALEM – this Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced that Multnomah County would be moved to “Phase 1” of reopening, and that the entire tri-county region would be considered as a single unit moving forward – meaning that the entire Portland area will be kept in “Phase 1” for at least 21 days from June 19th.

Governor Brown also announced that the residents of seven Oregon counties would be required to wear masks in indoor public spaces starting on May 24th.  This directive includes much of the state’s urban area (Clackamas, Marion, Multnomah, and Polk Counties), and two rural counties that have suffered recent high profile outbreaks of Sars-Cov-2 (“COVID-19”).  Notably absent from this list are Lane County, where Eugene (Oregon’s second largest city) is located, and Union County, where the state’s largest COVID-19 outbreak is still ongoing.

OSPIRG Healthcare Advocate Numi Lee Griffith released the following statement:

“The trends we’ve seen over the last two weeks, including rising case-positivity, a high proportion of untraced cases, and increasing hospitalization numbers for COVID-like illness, are clear indications that we are not effectively containing community spread of the novel coronavirus.  The fact that Gov. Brown has decided to allow Multnomah County to move forward with ‘Phase 1’ despite its failure to meet several of the requirements in her original plan is troubling.

“However, we’re glad that Governor Brown has started requiring masks in public spaces – universal use of face-coverings has been shown in recent studies to be an incredibly effective intervention in US jurisdictions to contain the spread of COVID-19.  We also support her recognition that the tri-county area should be treated as a single unit.  The virus doesn’t care where county lines are, so synchronizing the reopening process for the Portland Metro area makes sense.”