Oregon Gov. Kate Brown

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown

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BROOKINGS — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is in active conversations about the potential of travel restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus between states, two state newspapers have reported.

Coos and Curry Counties are among those counties that have reported travelers and visitors from other areas and states testing positive for COVID-19, with some of those cases reported from Curry County's only hospital.

The Oregonian/Oregon Live and Eugene Weekly both carried articles Tuesday indicating that Gov. Brown has communicated with state legislators about possible travel restrictions.

In response to a request for a statement this morning, Gov. Brown's Press Secretary Liz Merah responded:

"As mentioned in recent press availabilities, in recent weeks, doctors, health experts, and case investigators have reported seeing cases linked to interstate travel. The issue of travel restrictions was raised by members of the Governor’s Medical Advisory Panel based on COVID-19 cases linked to travel in southern Oregon, which is troubling based on the spikes in case counts California is currently experiencing. County-level COVID-19 data from across the country likewise shows increasing case counts between linked communities across state borders.

"We are asking the health experts at the Oregon Health Authority and the Medical Advisory Panel for more data on travel-related spread of COVID-19, as well as recommendations for health and safety measures to address such cases. In conversations with legislators today, our office also discussed the reality that many Oregonians in communities on the state’s borders often cross those borders for work, and that any restrictions must take economic and supply chain implications into account. As the Governor has stated previously, our focus is on restrictions related to tourist travel from hotspot states and communities. Conversations are ongoing about how those restrictions could work."

The Pilot has also sent requests for comment to Rep. David Brock Smith and State Senator Dallas Heard.

This article will be updated when more information is available.

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