By NICK BUDNICK
Pamplin Media Group for Oregon Capital Bureau
SALEM -- With the spread of coronavirus in Oregon holding fairly steady, Gov. Kate Brown on Friday said she is prepared to impose new restrictions if things don't improve.
Brown said that to hasten the opening of schools around Oregon for in-person instruction, she is prepared to impose restrictions on travel in and out of Oregon, and potentially other restrictions, too.
Defending her past decisions as a balancing act, Brown said, "unfortunately, it's still not enough. Our infection rate is still too high to get all of our kids safely back in classrooms at most of our schools this fall."
She said the current infection rate is still way too high.
"If we cannot improve our trajectory over the rest of the month," she said, "unfortunately I will need to add more restrictions."
Under the latest projections, she said, it looks to be about 200 days before schools can reopen for classroom instruction. But with significant improvements that figure can be cut as low as six weeks.
Oregon health officials in the same press conference said that the latest modeling report indicates that the state continues to hold steady in transmission rates, with each case of coronavirus leading to one more.
That reproduction rate needs to drop from 1.0 to .75, they said. However, Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said he thinks the modeling report is lagging the current situation.
He cited encouraging signs in recent weeks that he said show improvement, such as a drop in confirmed cases and in the rate of positive coronavirus tests.