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Oregon Governor Brown Bans Large Gatherings Until September

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced on Thursday that though her state will begin taking steps to reopen on May 15 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, she added that the Oregon Health Authority has said that “any large gathering at least through September should be canceled or modified.”

Brown specifically said that things like sporting events, concerts, conventions and festivals can’t take place until there are better treatment options available for coronavirus, according to The Hill. “There is some difficult news to share,” Brown said. “Large gatherings, including live sporting events with audiences, concerts, festivals and conventions will not be able to return until we have a reliable treatment or prevention like a vaccine.”

“The Oregon Health Authority is advising that any large gathering, at least through September, should either be canceled or significantly modified,” she added. “I know this is really, really hard. I will miss visiting our fairs and festivals this year.”

When Dr. Dean Sidelinger, Oregon’s health officer and epidemiologist, was asked about football, he responded by saying that non-contact sports “like golf or tennis” will probably return before football does. He told OregonLive that when football does eventually come back, there will likely be no fans in the stands:

“Non-contact sports, things like golf or tennis, where people can maintain a distance are probably some of the things we’re going to see coming back first. For some of these other sports, basketball, football, and other things where there is more close contact, obviously there is more risk.

“So I think as we approach football season, we can see how the disease is behaving in our community, what kind of steps could be taken around the team themselves and the coaches and others around the team to see if they can safely start. But as you heard from the governor’s remarks, large gatherings will likely not be happening through the end of September. So if or when those activities resume, they would likely resume without the fans in the stands, but hopefully the fans watching them from a screen in the safety of their own home.”

Oregon Athletics also released a brief statement about the situation. “We will continue to work with state and local officials, public health experts, and campus leadership in navigating all of the unprecedented issues surrounding COVID-19 and when our student-athletes will be able to return to competition,” Oregon Athletics said. “The health and safety of our student-athletes and community will continue to be our top priority.”

This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on May 8, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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