The Curry County Board of Commissioners voted unaimously to send the following letter to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.
Please find this letter of concern on behalf of Curry County. First and foremost, we are Oregonians, we are neighbors, friends, family members. We have been called to serve and voted into office by our constituency. It is in all these roles that we write to share our grave concerns with your extension of your latest Executive Order—the ‘Temporary Freeze’.
We recognize the threat that COVID-19 poses to our community and support data driven decisions to limit the spread of this disease, but we do not support the mandate to close gyms, churches, and restaurants as it is not supported by historical data and will only address a small fraction of Oregon’s COVID cases at the cost of thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses.
Combined, cases that can be traced back to churches, restaurants and gyms make up less than 1% of all the recorded COVID cases in Oregon. Quite simply, there is no actual evidence that restaurants, gyms or churches are driving COVID in our community. In fact, because of the adherence to mask wearing and social distancing, these establishments have been some of the safest in the state.
The closure of these establishments ensures more jobs are lost and Oregonians are left only to rely on a broken unemployment system. Our neighbors and friends won’t be able to pay their mortgages, pay their rent, or buy Christmas presents for their children because of this decision. This is wrong.
Furthermore, we are concerned with the violation of our privacy as the state police and local law enforcement agencies are being ordered to investigate and criminally charge Oregonians based on the number of people they invite into their homes. Legality questions aside, with depression and anxiety levels at an all-time high, creating a new crime to visit your family only hinders those struggling with their mental health.
Data shows us that COVID has been spreading at private social gatherings, and we call on our fellow citizens to be careful and social distance when gathering over the holidays, but we cannot and will not support any attempt by any police agency to violate the sacred space of any Oregonian’s home.
We urge you to stop this mandate that will hinder the working people, families and their loved ones, the well-being of Oregonians, and the state of our economy and communities.
Thank you for taking this into consideration as we all work together to keep Oregon safe.
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Christopher Paasch Court Boice Sue Gold
Chair Vice-Chair Commissioner