On Friday, Gov. Kate Brown's office announced that Lincoln County and seven others, including Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union and Wasco, had been placed on a watch list due to the alarming spread of the novel coronavirus in those locations during recent weeks.
According to a statement from the governor's office, "Counties on the watch list will be monitored in the coming days while the Oregon Health Authority and local officials deploy additional capacity to control the spread of the disease. If the counties do not see a downturn quickly, restrictive measures such as business closures or tighter gathering size limits will ensue."
Brown also announced that she was stepping up enforcement of face covering, physical distancing and occupancy standards in place for businesses in light of rising case counts during June.
The enforcement effort will be led by Oregon Occupational Safety and Health and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to ensure restaurants, bars and other businesses comply with rules over the Fourth of July holiday weekend and ongoing. Staff "will be conducting spot checks and inspections all over Oregon during the holiday weekend to ensure restaurants, bars, other businesses and their patrons are complying with state alcohol laws...and the requirement to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces."
Those agencies can take administrative action for failure to comply, including issuing citations, fines and "Red Warning Notices." Red Warning Notices result in closure until hazardous conditions are remedied, and they apply to businesses that appear to be in willful violation of executive orders or refuse to take corrective measures.