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SALEM - On May 7, 2020, Oregon Governor Kate Brown released her detailed plan for “Reopening Oregon,” defining regional criteria for relaxing social-distancing measures implemented to slow transmission of the novel coronavirus, and the disease it causes, COVID-19. The plan sets standards for the public health resources Oregon counties will need to demonstrate to effectively test, trace, and isolate new coronavirus infections.
The Governor also announced a new partnership with OHSU, “Be the Key,” a randomized survey of Oregon’s population that will ultimately test 100,000 Oregonians. The study is intended to accurately document the full scope of the coronavirus epidemic in Oregon, and has the potential to identify hidden outbreaks in areas where comprehensive testing hasn’t been performed.
OSPIRG Healthcare Advocate Numi Lee Griffith issued the following statement in support of the “Reopen Oregon” framework:
“Governor Brown’s detailed plan to relax social distancing guidelines strikes the proper balance between public health capacity, economic recovery, and the geographic diversity of Oregon. We commend the Governor for adopting a framework that will not permit counties to reopen without clearly demonstrating that they have the hospital, testing, and contact tracing capacity necessary to contain new COVID-19 infections.
“Oregon is a diverse state, and many rural areas have no confirmed cases of COVID-19. However, comprehensive testing like OHSU’s planned “Be The Key” study could still expose new outbreaks, or existing outbreaks that were not identified in March and April due to inadequate testing. Oregon counties must adhere to the governor’s cautious framework, and be prepared to put restrictions back in place if new hotspots emerge.”
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