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Federal judge rejects Oregon restaurants’ lawsuit over 2-week ‘freeze’ closures

(Update: Adding video, more details)

'Disappointed' restaurant group plans to seek special session in December

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association expressed disappointment after a federal judge on Tuesday refused to grant a temporary restraining order against Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order banning indoor and outdoor dining.

The lawsuit was spearheaded by the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association which filed suit last Friday, saying they felt they were being unfairly punished by the executive order implementing the two-week statewide "freeze" in an attempt to slow the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases.

The federal judge, Karin Immergut did not agree with ORLA's stance and said the freeze is entirely within the state’s authority, due to COVID-19 precautions.

Now, restaurants like J-Dub in downtown Bend are being forced to close their doors temporarily.

J-Dub's owner, Jon Weber, is feeling the brunt of these latest decisions.

"I had to lay off all my staff," Weber said Tuesday. "I had to fire myself, and everyone here is going to go back on unemployment, which is going to be more effective."

Weber said you have to be able to pivot, but the industry is already hard enough, and takeout-only is not a viable option.

He said he understands the restrictions in an attempt to combat COVID-19, but he doesn't feel industries are being treated equally.

"It's not new, having to change direction -- just right now, it's being applied in a way that isn't equal across the board," Weber said. "I think we're on the tip of the spear right now."

Equity is something ORLA President and CEO Jason Brandt also brings to light.

"There was some inequity, and there continues to be inequity in how we're creating standards for private settings versus restaurants," Brandt told us after Tuesday's court ruling.

We do still feel like we have a pretty good track record of safety, because of all the procedures and protocols that have been put in place over the last eight months," he said.

Brandt said their argument revolves around the fact that two households can still gather in private settings of up to six people without a face covering.

Within restaurants, the face mask is only taken off in a stationary position, and the employee is always wearing a mask to ensure safety.

Despite pushback, restaurants across Central Oregon like J-Dub will continue on as best they can.


Here's the organization's news release about Tuesday's ruling:

Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Remains Committed to Working Through Covid-19 Realities

Wilsonville, OR– The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is disappointed we were not able to secure a temporary restraining order against the latest indoor and outdoor dining room freeze on our industry, which continues to impact thousands of operators and tens of thousands of industry employees.

We remain committed to working with Governor Kate Brown, her professional staff, and the Oregon Health Authority to find paths forward for Oregonian livelihoods which remain devastated by the realities of COVID-19.

We must now turn all of our attention to the importance of convening a special session of the Oregon Legislature in December, as well as the necessity of federal action. We must bridge the gap for Oregon’s small businesses and tens of thousands of workers who need relief until a widely available vaccine is available for our friends, our families, and our colleagues.

Bend / Business / Central Oregon / Coronavirus / Deschutes County / Government-politics / Top Stories
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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.

Comments

76 Comments

  1. The service industry does a great disservice to society by staying open. I sympathize with your hardship, however, by staying open you’re part of the problem, and no part of the solution. You’re killing people so you can survive. How is that good business?

    1. Overall takeout-only seems like a reasonable compromise, some restaurants say they even do better under this model, but we need to stick with it until transmission truly stops this time

      1. I’m independently wealthy. Now after my life long work, I have chosen early retirement. I do as I please, and I’m careful ànd cautious to live a long and healthy life. Life unfortunately is all about timing, and choices.

      2. time to think Tom – this pandemic is causing financial harm to everyone, some more than others (except the very rich, they are cashing in) – it sucks, but there are people who actually believe that sickening or killing fellow humans is far worse than bankruptcy – what exactly do you believe Tom? (rhetorical question – you owe me nothing)

    2. Not sure where you get your info but the recorded transmissions from restaurants were less than 1% at .076%, Much lower than transmissions in private residences, so by forcing people to stay home are we really going to help? probably not!

      1. 99.9% recovery rate doesn’t make sense. 0.1% of the population of the USA is 330K. Are you saying it’s OK to let 330K people die? 263K have already died of this. I think it’s going to go beyond that and that’s with the majority not having been infected. There is no way it can possibly be a 99.9% recovery rate.

        1. “Simple math” would be your issue. You are making an assumption that your 12.6 million cases account for all cases and your 260k is a “simple” number from that. How do you account for the unknown number of those that have contracted COVID and recovered from COVID without testing or treatment? Your 2.7% is a random number only using confirmed cases. The CDC themselves say their numbers are likely off by millions.

          1. I used simple math because I didn’t want to get into standard deviations which could take your point of unknowns into consideration. However, you say that using 2 confirmed datasets (cases and deaths in this instance) in a calculation will render a “random” solution? That’s like saying 2+2 is, well, anything I want it to be. If that’s the way you think, I now understand how Trump conned so many of you.

    3. Narcissistic personality disorder – Symptoms and causes …www.mayoclinic.org › symptoms-causes › syc-20366662
      Nov 18, 2017 — Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.
      This most defiantly you, my suggestion is, seek help.

      1. Hahahaha, yes the one citing the needs and protection of others as their primary reason is definitely suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

        That’s Trump you’re thinking of you basement dweller.

  2. can someone smarter than me tell me what the difference is between a restaurant full of people and a home depot or lowes or Safeway, or Walmart? There are lots of people in all those stores moving around and touching merchandise, and at a restaurant or bar for the most part people are sitting at one spot and not touching anything but the food and drink in front of them.
    If we really have become this fearful and cannot reason or use common sense then maybe the best thing to do is lock ourselves in our homes until we feel its safe to come out and not take the risk, the problem with that is, there is ZERO chance of obtaining ZERO risk, people do get that right?

    1. No one that cares about you Steve, or is smarter than you. You’re the only one with your kind of common sense, common only to you. And that’s the problem. If all the Stevekys in this country would use your head for something more than a home depot tool belt we just might get through this. Good luck Steve, try not to infect anyone.

      1. my head tells me 2 percent globally, and not about someone caring for me, but more about the small businesses losing everything due to a fear based pandemic that has eroded common sense in individuals like yourself.

    2. Sorry Steve, you got us. You’re smarter than all of us. You should eat and drink as much as you can. That will give you a good excuse to not wear a mask. The only ones that have to worry will be the ones around you.

      1. Hey weak link nonabysns. You keep yammering about Steve so you must “care.” He certainly has your attention, though you were unable to type his screen name correctly.
        He is definitely smarter than you. Your response are all just angry jousts at him personally and words that have no root.
        No one is getting out alive. Everyone is die some day. So let’s keep lining the pockets of government as they have this epiphany after numerous virus have come and gone, some died, others didn’t, vaccines were developed and we press on. Adults were responsible to take care of themselves and family. Guidelines were in place. No doubt Steve will enjoy his Thanksgiving and all the trimmings with others mask free. While you on the other hand will continue to drink the Kool- Aid and eat the lopsided media BS. Then being the sheep that you are will regurgitate and eat it again because you don’t think for yourself. None of your post speak of any research or knowledge. You never even answered his question. While you mask up to save people from life, why don’t you put a mask on that brain of yours and let it fully develop!
        No one wears gloves and their hands are busy and reflexively will touch their face…..
        It’s time to get busy living or get busy dying. Life is for the living! If you are afraid of it, then by all means quarantine yourself, live in a bubble. That’s your right. But to say we are saving lives….. the reaction to this “virus” has killed way more than the virus itself. The ability to broadcast information through many channels is what was used to inject fear into individuals. I believe the virus is real, but how it has been handled says to each American that they are children and unable to make decisions on their own. Roll yourself up in a bubble and let them take care of your weak self. Enjoy bouncing off the walls. Weak minded people.

        1. Quicker than writing all that tedious drivel or even making others read it, would be to simply screenshot your freshman year report card with that big red D in science class, we know its there

        2. Thank you common sense person, it’s good to see that not everyone has lost their mind and reasoning ability,seems to be mainly us that are driving on the right side of the road , because the ones on the left are going off the damn cliff with their other sheep.

  3. Less people dead in Bangladesh than there are in NYC. Bangladesh has 160 million people living in a country the size of Georgia. The do NOT wear masks or social distance. In face they live in utter poverty in filthy conditions. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This is NOT about a virus. And oh, by the way, why isn’t the CDC reporting seasonal flu cases?

    1. Yes, maybe you can take your family there and get them sick. Do you understand how this disease spread so quickly? It was spread by travel! People do not travel to Bangladesh

    1. Are you implying that a conservative judge would have interpreted the facts differently? You can’t have rule of law without facts. I’m sorry you have been led to believe that there are alternative facts. There really aren’t. The sooner you come to face the truth, the sooner we all can get back to reality and a semblance of normalcy.

  4. Doesn’t seem to be helping. Cases and deaths have gone up since the freeze.
    Heck it shut down everything and I mean everything grocery stores,churches,gas stations,hospitals, just lock it all down. I’m ready let’s do it. If they want to run the state like a dictatorship then go big or go home.

  5. Hundreds of sweating football players and everything is fine. This is nothing but control over the sheep by liberal dictators. More to come from Dimentia Joe and don’t forget Hunter.

  6. Think air circulation and proximity of people.

    Air volume at Lowe’s is quite different than a closed door eatery/establishment.

    Common sense – not fear “should” prevail.

    Personally, dining out at this time has zero appeal to me. Not fear based, just not interested.

    And as C19 is still relatively new it’s difficult to state what risks rate high. It’s still at the conjecture stage.

    1. You can easily wash/clean your hands before you touch your eyes, nose, mouth or what you are about to eat. However, it’s very difficult to wash/clean any contaminated air around you. This is also why it is more risky to eat in areas with a higher probability of having contaminated air or contaminated food.

        1. Respiratory droplets can contaminate the air and what the droplets land on.
          .
          Respiratory Droplets and Airborne transmission (from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-sars-cov-2.html):
          .
          Droplet transmission is infection spread through exposure to virus-containing respiratory droplets (i.e., larger and smaller droplets and particles) exhaled by an infectious person. Transmission is most likely to occur when someone is close to the infectious person, generally within about 6 feet.
          .
          Airborne transmission is infection spread through exposure to those virus-containing respiratory droplets comprised of smaller droplets and particles that can remain suspended in the air over long distances (usually greater than 6 feet) and time (typically hours).

          1. Thanks for the reminder Bob. I did overlook that I needed to break down my words to to the remedial.
            I know virus/germs….. can be in droplets and airborne.
            I was simply speaking to the fact that the individual spoke as if the virus is 100% airborne with no way of cleaning the air. I won’t waste speaking any more words to those that are unteachable. Happy thanksgiving

      1. @bob, you are being lied to. There is no way to “clear the air” effectively, masks are not the answer. Everything else must be 100% effective. The flu, influenza and pneumonia not to mention other viruses are still being transmitted and are far more deadly than covid. 1% infection rate, 99.9% recovery rate. If you’re scared, hide under a rock in the desert. Stop spreading fear, humans deserve to make their own decisions.

        1. @Thatguyoverthere, can you explain why crowded cities in places (where people willingly wear masks for protection and prevention) like Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore have very low infections?

  7. Nonya,

    Life is about choices. So let us make them.

    If I can wear a mask at my gym, why is it closed now?

    If it is all about hand washing and sanitizer, why are liquor stores and pot shops still open?

    I promise you there isn’t a lot of hand washing going on from that clientele.

    We all believe Covid is something. We do not all believe the over reaction to closures is well thought out or consistent.

    CNNs daily hysteria will politically and miraculously come to an end the day after Biden takes office.

    1. You mean like a bunch of deniers on this forum said it would miraculously go away on Nov 4th? If anyone is politicizing the virus instead of facing reality, taking personal responsibility for themselves and showing concern for others, it’s people like you who blame the media for what – keeping us informed daily of the statistics, facts and developing information/guidance? If you sense some type of hysteria, perhaps it’s your own.

  8. Wear a mask as appropriate…wash your hands as appropriate…sustain social distancing…strongly consider vaccination when available.

    It’s a pandemic. Now horribly politicised to the point of Stupidity.

      1. Does one need to be? I agree, there is knowledge that comes with experience however, some people just prefer to rant because their dictator was voted out by people who have normal common sense. The ranters have blocked any common sense because the one they identify with, and try to act like has been replaced. They have not yet the maturity it takes to appreciate life, not for just ones self, but for others as well. Of course many would agree their roll model sets a very bad example. I look forward to seeing their roll model behind bars. That will be true justice.

        1. ” some people just prefer to rant because their dictator was voted out by people who have normal common sense ”

          Common sense ? Hopefully you aren’t referring to liberals, because some of their elected officials have been caught publicly ignoring all of the virus protocols
          that have been implemented, but it’s just another example of the liberal hypocrisy.
          If these people are so willing to disregard the safety protocols, doesn’t it make
          you think that maybe it’s not as serious as they want us to think it is ?
          Perhaps it’s just because most of the elected liberal leaders are clueless,
          and not overly intelligent…

        2. you deserve all 4 years of the coming kool-aid,after all what is there not to trust in a career politician?! I will believe the guy with no filter over the one who has used one their whole life to sell what they are selling, what you want to hear, thats what good politicians do. Trump, 0 years of experience as a politician, and it showed, thankfully, because he didn’t have a filter in place, and that makes people uncomfortable, id rather have real unfiltered than lied to in a nice voice with nice words, because getting offended sometimes doesn’t mean you will die, it just means you might actually have a conviction because you were offended.

          1. The voters did what Senate Republicans said we should do back in Feb – make a decision about impeachment. 80M Americans threw him out of office because Senate Republicans didn’t have the guts to, and you need to face reality that you were, and apparently continue to be, conned. Did you send Trump your donation yet? He’s going to need it.

  9. I had never heard of J Dub before. I’m sure other businesses will fill the two week void.
    If the owner fired himself, who’s going yo hire him back in 2 weeks?
    I’ll support those businesses that are able to cooperate with the 2 week freeze and maintain their staff on at least a part-time basis. I won’t support J Dub and all those that clearly don’t care about their clients’ health.

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