Did Halloween Cause an Increases of COVID-19 Cases in Oregon?
Oregon is in the second week of Governor Kate Brown's mandatory "freeze" over the Thanksgiving holiday and continuing into the beginning days of December. Gov. Brown's mandate requires families celebrating the holiday to have no more than six people in one house and no more than two families. She also encourages neighbors to call the police if they see gatherings in their neighborhoods, which would result in a Class C misdemeanor, fines up to $1,250, and 30 days in jail.
Just a month earlier, the CDC recommends that parents not let their children participate in traditional trick-or-treating due to the spread of the deadly disease. The Oregonian, a Portland-based newspaper, calls into question the parenting skills of those who allow their kids to trick-or-treat.
Rotting pumpkin from Halloween (Derek Bratton)
After the Halloween holiday, data from the American Academy of Pediatrics show a .8 percent increase of covid-19 cases as of November in children from Oregon. The American Academy of Pediatrics reported in September that kids made up 15 percent and now has increased to 15.8 percent as of November 19, 2020. However, there is not much data linking trick-or-treating to the increase in cases. ABC News reports that the number of raising cases can be traced back to Halloween-related events such as several small gatherings and one party with more than 100 people in attendance.
Data from American Academy of Pediatrics. September 2020 Vs. November 2020.
The spike in COVID Cases enacted Governor Kate Brown's decision to mandate a Two-Week statewide freeze, restricting households to six people from no more than two homes and shutting down gyms other recreational facilities.
During a press conference, Gov. Brown said, "In terms of individuals, I am not asking you, I am ordering you."
A gym called the Courthouse Club Fitness violated Gov. Brown's order to stay closed and now faces $90,000 in fines. Brian Bradley, the owner of a small business called Extreme Velocity, an indoor paintball/airsoft field, is staying open during the freeze. Extreme Velocity also sells equipment that can be used on the field, which allows the business to be considered a retail store.
Bradly Said, "We get to stay open because we sell equipment, but if people want to use the field, we will allow it. The amount of people who show up to play is a fraction of what we are used to seeing, so it is safe, but it is also understandable if our normal customers want to wait until after the freeze to play again."
Oregon State Health Authorities fear another increase in cases will happen as the holidays approach. With more rain and colder temperatures on the way, people will be gathering indoors, increasing the transmission rate of the deadly virus.