COVID-19 Travel Information

News and Updates on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) in the Willamette Valley

The Willamette Valley Visitors Association is working closely with Travel Oregon, as well as state and national partners, to continually monitor the ever-evolving COVID-19 outbreak.

Governor Kate Brown has issued Executive Order 20-12, directing everyone in Oregon to stay at home to the maximum extent possible and adding to the list of businesses that will be temporarily closed to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon. The order is effective as of March 23, 2020—and remains in effect until ended by the governor.

Given the fluid nature of the situation, these resources will be helpful for monitoring the situation and explaining what it might mean for your business or community.

The following resources offer the most up-to-date information possible and can help guide decisions on events, travel, gatherings and more.

When planning around COVID-19 and its impacts, keep the following information in mind:

The disease can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity. People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVID-19 than any other American. Help stop fear by letting people know that being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.

Some people are at an increased risk for getting COVID-19. People who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or people who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread are at an increased risk of exposure.

Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.

You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms—and taking proper precautions.

Travel Oregon and the Willamette Valley Visitors Association understand that travelers may be concerned about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may affect them. Currently, Oregon has 191 confirmed cases (as of March 23, 2020).

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Brown has released an Executive Order that encourages Oregonians to “Stay Home, Save Lives.” This new policy orders Oregonians to stay in their homes whenever possible and includes strong language around approved activities and business operations.

Please also note that Oregon State Parks has closed the state park system through at least May 8, 2020. Learn more about the state parks closure.

Communication material that helps inform the public around this message and slow the spread of COVID-19 has been created. We are asking our partners around the state to use this messaging to share information on how Oregonians can stay safe and save lives.

This messaging is developing daily. Social tiles can be found here; you can also visit the Oregon Health Authority's COVID-19 website for Stay Home, Save Lives messaging, social media resources, graphics (translated into nine languages), and more.

The Willamette Valley Visitors Association and Travel Oregon are working consistently with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and the Oregon Health Authority. With this evolving situation, we encourage the traveling public to follow any guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) when making travel plans.

When it comes to the American public, the CDC is consistent in its precaution to practice common preventative measures to help stop the spread of germs, as is typical in the current flu and respiratory disease season. U.S. health officials are urging the same personal best practices that are standard for typical flu season.

With the situation evolving rapidly, we encourage the traveling public to follow any guidance offered by the CDC, OHA and local public health authorities.

Travel industry leaders will continue to engage health and security authorities on any planned or anticipated COVID-19-related measures that would impact travel.

Tourism Economics will supply Travel Oregon with an estimate of the impacts of COVID-19 to the state’s tourism economy from its international markets. We expect to have that estimate in late March.

Travel Oregon has prepared a COVID-19 Toolkit for industry partners—which includes communication material, business resources and assistance, suggested messaging and more. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration has issued a bulletin with guidance for small businesses, as well. The resource includes products, guidance, products, and more.

Travel Oregon created an online form to capture recent impacts on destinations and businesses. Use the form to share your immediate needs, as well as any special promotions or inspirational stories happening during this challenging time. (Submit your information by March 27 to be included in upcoming Travel Oregon content pieces and marketing and communication recovery efforts.)

Given Governor Brown's executive order and collective efforts to "flatten the curve", many businesses—such as wineries, breweries, and restaurants—have started offering takeout and/or delivery services. If you are one such business, here are some fo the steps you can take to keep staff members, volunteers, visitors, and others safe. Keep these tips in mind while planning for how to deal with COVID-19.

Maintain a welcoming atmosphere. Have sanitation tools on hand, and keep customers informed on how you are maintaining a clean, safe environment.

Keep up with the latest updates, tips and information from the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA). ORLA offers a page with tips, information and resources for employers.

Practice social distancing. Whenever possible, have customers stand at least six feet apart from each other. Doing so decreases the potential for transmission.

Update your social media accounts and email lists as often as necessary. This is especially important when it comes to keeping customers updated on closures, postponements, altered hours or precautions you may be taking.

Keep an eye on event calendars—and keep closures in mind. We will work hard as an industry to keep consumers updated on event closures. The best way for you as partners to do this is to update your OTIS listings, as well as local and business listings.

Consider sharing options for financial assistance with your staff. The USBG National Charity Foundation, for instance, has shared about its Bartender Emergency Assistance Program.

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