Nov 13, 2020 - Health

Oregon and New Mexico enter partial lockdowns

Photo of people lining up outside a building to get tested for COVID-19
Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty

The governors of Oregon and New Mexico issued two-week, partial lockdowns in their respective states on Friday.

Why it matters: The U.S. has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks. Though officials have hesitated to reinstate the sweeping measures they enforced during the first wave, states are facing increased pressure as case numbers rise and hospital beds fill.

The state of play: The orders in both states will close non-essential businesses like gyms and entertainment venues and allow only take-out for restaurants and bars.

  • Retail outlets, grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open but at limited capacity, while churches will be required to host people in reduced numbers.
  • Oregon’s partial lockdown, set to start on Nov. 18, also limits social gatherings to six people.
  • Schools that “meet the metrics” will stay open, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said at a press briefing Friday.
  • That will not change in New Mexico, either, when the state enters lockdown Nov. 16.

Where it stands: In the past week, Oregon has seen a 104% increase in average cases per day compared to two weeks earlier. Case rates are topping 1,000 daily, according to Brown.

  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Mexico have risen 231% over the past month. In the last two weeks, COVID-19 deaths jumped by 281%.
  • Renee Edwards, chief medical officer at Oregon Health and Science University, called Brown's order "difficult to hear but necessary."

Context: Other states are also beginning to ramp up restrictions despite reluctance to issue full lockdowns.

  • New York has closed nighttime bars and restaurants and limited private gatherings to no more than 10 people. New York City is considering shutting down in-person schooling as early as Monday.
  • The governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued a joint message on Friday urging out-of-state travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
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