SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Dozens circled Oregon’s state Capitol in their vehicles Friday to protest the state’s stay-at-home order meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
People in vehicles honked horns and displayed signs in one of several protests happening across the country this week as conservatives push back against virus-related restrictions.
Meanwhile the Oregon Health Authority reported six new COVID-19 deaths Friday for a total of 70 in the state. State officials also reported 49 new cases, increasing to 1,785 the total number of people statewide who have tested positive for the disease.
Organizers said the rally is aimed at getting their constitutional rights back and getting Oregonians back to work, KEZI-TV reported. Gov. Kate Brown issued an order for Oregonians to stay home starting March 23 and banned non-essential gatherings and travel after crowds descended on the state’s beach towns and hiking trails the weekend prior.
A Redmond man also has planned a “town hall meeting” on the steps of City Hall Friday night saying the stay at home order was unconstitutional.
The order closes many businesses except for those deemed essential such as grocery stores and pharmacies. Brown said earlier this week that she won’t reopen Oregon’s economy or ease restrictions until she sees a declining rate of active virus cases and public health data suggesting a return to normalcy is safe.
Also on Friday, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that the coronavirus has so far infected 10 people who live or work in state-funded homes for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
The disease has struck one person in 10 separate homes: a foster home for children, three foster homes for adults and six adult group homes, according to data state officials provided to The Oregonian/OregonLive.
The homes are in southern Oregon, with one case each in Jackson and Klamath counties, in the Willamette Valley, with four cases in Marion, Lane and Linn counties, and in the Portland area, with four infected homes in Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties.