I am disappointed that the Clatsop County commissioners have asked the governor to lift COVID-19 restrictions.
They say it’s unfair to impose greater restrictions on restaurants and bars than on other businesses. It's not unfair, because restaurants and bars have a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission than other businesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still says indoor dining with people outside your household, without masks or social distancing, and inadequate ventilation, is "highest risk" for transmission.
They say state restrictions are unnecessary because there hasn't been a workplace superspreader event in the hospitality industry here. But cases have risen sharply since restrictions were eased.
The commissioners imply that Oregon Health Authority is incompetent, and want to "do our own thing." But what happens in Clatsop County doesn't stay in Clatsop County. The hospitality industry pulls people here from all over. People can bring COVID-19 here, and they can take it wherever they go.
Initial problems coordinating between the county and the state were understandable, given the novelty, scale and complexity of the problem. We need OHA's perspective and support. We need the county and state to work together.
Because our economy is so dependent on tourism, COVID-19 restrictions are especially hard on restaurants and bars. But the governor and OHA are not "arbitrarily" picking on them. There are solid reasons to continue restrictions until most of the population is vaccinated. This is where we should be putting our energy.