COVID-19 has claimed 15 more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 882. The Oregon Health Authority reported early yesterday that there were 1,514 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 70,006.
Bars and restaurants can reopen for limited outdoor service next week in Oregon but many restrictions will remain in place until a vaccine against the coronavirus is widely available. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced the new measures on Wednesday. State officials also announced vaccines would soon be coming to Oregon, though details remained unclear. The revamped restrictions to combat the unprecedented rate of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations take effect when the current two-week “freeze” expires on Dec. 3. Currently, only take-out restaurant service is allowed. The restaurant industry pushed hard against the restrictions as several eateries closed for good and others were at risk of doing so.
New federal conservation funding could increase critical water supplies in the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. The Department of the Interior announced this week that more than $6 million will be allocated to lease and potentially buy water rights for the wildlife refuge. The money would come from the Great American Outdoors Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in August. The water supply in the Klamath Basin is far outstripped by demand for farming, fish habitat and birds in the wildlife refuge. Jim McCarthy works with the environmental group Water Watch. He says it’s good for the refuge to get water, but calls this a stopgap measure. He said They’re proposing to spend $6 million to temporarily lease water from elsewhere when they give away some 50,000-acre-feet of water for free to agribusiness every year from these refuges.“ Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declined to be interviewed but, in a statement, wrote they were pleased to see the refuge on the list of priorities for the Great American Outdoors Act and said they’re still coming to understand the details of this project.
Although it’s no longer called the Civil War, the rivalry between Oregon and Oregon State is still heated even in a short and unusual season. The two teams will meet Friday for the 124th edition of the rivalry, which dates back to 1894. This season’s game is important to the ninth-ranked Ducks, who are undefeated and potentially vying for a spot in the College Football Playoff if everything breaks their way. Oregon was ranked No. 15 in the first CFP rankings released this week. The game is at 4:30 today in Corvallis and will be broadcast on ESPN. The Ducks will wear their Nike Vapor Fusion yellow uniform jersey with yellow chrome helmets. The Beavers will be in either white – black or orange with their blackr helmets.