June 30, 2020
PORTLAND, Ore. — As Oregonians prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with families, friends and loved ones, the Oregon Health Authority reminds all Oregonians to “evaluate before you celebrate.”
COVID-19 cases are surging throughout Oregon since the state began its phased reopening. Recent modeling suggests the virus is continuing to spread rapidly in all age groups. COVID-19 is still in our communities, and each of us has a role to play in reducing its spread.
“We know people are tired of being cooped up at home and are eager to get out and enjoy the beautiful Oregon summer, but cases surged after Memorial Day,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., state health officer and epidemiologist. “We don’t want the same thing to happen over the Independence Day holiday.”
“As we continue to gradually and safely reopen our state, we all need to consider the risks each activity presents, and how we can reduce the risk of infection and contain the spread of the virus,” he said.
Health officials urge Oregonians to remember that our phased reopening is not a return to business as usual. This means physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequent hand washing are still a regular part of our life.
Additionally, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by choosing to engage in “low risk” activities.
The safest choice this holiday is to celebrate at home. If you choose to celebrate in other ways, activities that take place outdoors, allow for enough room to maintain physical distancing and involve fewer people are lower risk than activities that take place indoors, don’t allow for physical distancing and involve more people.
Tips for a safe 4th of July
With many community fireworks events and other large gatherings already cancelled amid the pandemic, here are some extra tips for enjoying the holiday safely:
- Stay home if you’re sick or if you have an underlying medical condition that puts you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
- If you host a gathering, provide hand sanitizer or give people easy access to places where they can frequently wash their hands.
- Adjust your food offerings to avoid sharing utensils and offer individual servings. Don’t share drinks.
- During and afterward thoroughly clean all frequently touched areas your guests have access to.
- Wear a mask if you cannot maintain six feet of physical distance.
By knowing and understanding the risk of our actions and activities, Oregonians can make informed decisions that impact about not only our own health and protect the health of everyone around us.