Events canceled to contain virus

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown meets with members of the state Coronavirus Response Team to discuss strategies to combat the disease’s spread. On Thursday, Brown issued new guidance and an executive order banning large gatherings with the aim to reduce opportunities for exposure. (Courtesy photo)

LINCOLN COUNTY — New measures announced by Gov. Kate Brown to abate the spread of COVID-19 have prompted canceledlations in Lincoln County.

The Lincoln County School District announced Thursday it would suspend all non-essential events and activities effective immediately and continuing until April 8.

According to a statement released by the district, “this includes the suspension of all school-based assemblies and events, such as plays, concerts, family nights, off-campus field trips, and district-wide professional development meetings and events. With regard to athletics, our district will follow (Oregon Student Activities Association) guidelines.”

The OSAA has announced it will bar audiences from upcoming state competition events, with the exception of essential personnel and credential media.

“The list of affected activities will grow as we work with partners and stakeholders over the coming days,” the LCSD’s statement reads. “We will update you as we make those decisions. To be clear, we are taking every step possible so that we can continue to provide high-quality education for all of our students and keep our schools and programs open.”

Area charter schools similarly announced the suspension of non-essential events pursuant to the governor’s guidance.

Brown has also ordered a statewide ban on all large gatherings of 250 people or more for a period of four weeks, defining a gathering as any event in a space in which social distancing of at least 3 feet cannot be maintained.

The prohibition is broad, including ,but not limited to “community, civic, faith-based and sporting events, concerts, conventions, fundraisers, and any similar events or activities if a distance of at least 3 feet cannot be maintained,” according to Brown’s executive order. The move has already led to the canceledlation of several public events locally.

The Hatfield Marine Science Center announced the canceledlation of this year’s Marine Science Day, scheduled to be held April 11, “due to the interactive nature of the event and being mindful of the health and well-being of our staff, students, volunteers and the larger Newport community,” according to a posting on the center’s website.

Two events scheduled this weekend at the Newport Performing Arts Center — Friday’s showing of the documentary "#AnneFrank" and a live broadcast of the New York City Metropolitan Opera on Saturday — have been rescheduled, according to Oregon Coast Council for the Arts Executive Director Catherine Rickbone, who said new dates have not yet been decided.

Rickbone said the Newport Symphony Orchestra’s concert “Grandeur and Passion,” scheduled for March 21 and 22 at the performing arts center, has been canceleded and will not be rescheduled.

The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce announced that its annual Banquet and Balloon Auction, scheduled for April 11, will not be held, and the Lincoln County Master Gardeners have canceledled all of their events this month at the Newport Public Library.

The Lincoln City Cultural Center will canceled all visual and performing arts events through April 7, including the popular Festival of Illusions, and a March 16 talk on climate change at the Driftwood Library has been canceledled with the intent to reschedule. Management at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort will be meeting with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians Tribal Council to decide if it will be necessary to canceled events at the casino.

The Cape Perpetua Visitor Center administration has postponed the remainder of its Saturday speaker events for March.

More canceledlations are anticipated, and the News-Times will provide regular updates as they are announced.

During a press conference Thursday morning, Brown recommended workplaces implement distancing measures, including an increased physical space between employees in offices and worksites, limited in-person meetings, limited travel and staggered work schedules where possible.

Brown’s executive order and guidance, along with updated information and figures on coronavirus in the state, can be found on the Oregon Health Authority's (OHA) website at

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/emerging-respiratory-infections.aspx.

Lincoln County Health and Human Services also maintains a regularly updated webpage for local information on COVID-19 at https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/hhs/page/2019-novel-coronavirus.

The OHA announced six new coronavirus cases in the state on Wednesday, including two presumptive cases at a veterans’ home in Linn County, bringing the total number of COVID-19 patients in Oregon to 21.

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