Restricting travel can minimize virus transmission from city centers into rural areas with limited health resources
FROM: Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, President
John Hunter, M.D., FACS, Chief Executive Officer, OHSU Health
Renee Edwards, M.D., M.B.A., Chief Medical Officer, OHSU Health
David Bangsberg, M.D., M.P.H., Dean, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
March 19, 2020 Portland, Oregon
Without widespread testing for COVID-19 currently in practice among Oregonians, it is imperative that we practice extreme caution in our travel outside of our homes during this spring break season.
As medical and public health professionals, we urgently ask all citizens to remain local to your home community during spring break to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and what we believe will be a significant strain on our health systems and health care teams in the coming weeks. We also urge Oregonians stay home to the greatest extent possible, except for essential workers and activities that can maintain six feet of social distancing.
Staying local helps prevent the spread into other communities that you may visit. These actions are necessary to limit transmission of the virus in Oregon, especially from our city centers into Oregon’s rural communities where there are more limited health resources.
We recognize that spring break is a cherished time for families to get away. However, research shows that people may carry COVID-19 without symptoms, and every precaution should be taken.
We are asking the public to cancel all plans for recreational travel, throughout the state of Oregon and across state borders. We urge all Oregonians to heed this call and stay home to help limit the spread of the virus across our state and beyond. It is imperative that we restrict travel between communities now, and be prepared to continue should current measures not be enough to slow the spread of the virus.
We all need to do our part to minimize transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. We are all in this together.