Sunday, January 17, 2021
Jan. 17, 2021

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Some Oregon recreation areas, state parks reopen this week

Columbia River Gorge parks, areas to be remain closed


PORTLAND — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday announced a limited opening of some state parks, outdoor recreation facilities, and other areas for day use in a partial easing of restrictions put in place because of the coronavirus.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department says the parks opening this week include: Tryon Creek in Portland; Willamette Mission north of Keizer; Mongold boat ramp at Detroit Lake; State Capitol State Park in Salem and Pilot Butte in Bend, which will open to pedestrians, among others.

Officials say day use will slowly return to other state parks starting next week. The Columbia River Gorge parks and recreation areas and coastal areas will remain closed for now.

Brown said Oregonians should recreate responsibly.

“Enjoying Oregon’s beauty and bounty is one of our state’s time-honored traditions,” Brown said in a statement. “As we begin to slowly open up recreation sites, state parks, and ski areas opportunities, it is critical we ensure the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and the public. And that begins with each of us taking personal responsibility to be good stewards of our parks, and each other.”

Nearly 2,840 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19 and, after two days without reporting a death, the Oregon Health Authority on Tuesday reported four more, bringing the total number of deaths to at least 113. The virus causes mild to moderate symptoms in most patients, and the vast majority recover. But it is highly contagious and can be spread by those who appear healthy and can cause severe illness and death in some patients, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

Also Tuesday, a seafood processor in Astoria, Ore., remains shut after 13 workers tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The Astorian reported Tuesday that the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council filed a complaint with the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration on April 13 — before the outbreak — on behalf of plant workers. The complaint cited a lack of personal protective equipment and a lack of social distancing inside the plants.

Bornstein Seafoods employs over 150 people between two plants at the Port of Astoria.

An OSHA spokesperson confirmed a complaint is open, but declined to say whether OSHA has inspected the plant.

Andrew Bornstein, the co-owner and vice president of the seafood processor, contested the workers’ claims and said his company has been training staff on guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more than a month.