The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Portland in the U.S. state of Oregon on February 28, 2020. The pandemic was first confirmed to have spread to the United States in January 2020. Cases have been confirmed in all fifty U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and all inhabited U.S. territories except American Samoa.As of March 31, 2020, the U.S. has the most confirmed active cases in the world and ranks third in the number of deaths from the virus.
On March 13, the Portland Police Bureau announced a reduction of in-person responses to reduce virus transmission.Multnomah County Library closed all branch libraries and Portland Parks and Recreation (PPR) closed arts and community centers, sports facilities, and swimming pools, based on recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Multnomah County Health Department, and the Oregon Health Authority. PPR canceled athletic programs and indoor activities at community centers.
In early April, city officials cut approximately 950 jobs because of a potential revenue loss of as much as $100 million. Most of the jobs were seasonal and part of the parks department, including art and fitness instructors as well as lifeguards.Portland officials also asked state authorities to forgive missed mortgage and rent payments.In late April, Chloe Eudaly and the Portland Bureau of Transportation announced plans to shut down 100 miles of streets to automobile traffic to encourage social distancing for bicyclists and pedestrians.In mid May, Portland Parks & Recreation confirmed all camps, public swimming pools, and recreation centers would remain closed through the summer.Bars, gyms, restaurants, and other businesses could operate if specific safety criteria were met.
Delta Air Lines reduced flights between Portland and Japan. United Airlines cut 4 of 20 flights from Portland as well as one from Eugene. Sun Country Airlines reduced flights between Portland and Honolulu, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.School closures and event cancellations prompted people to stock up on groceries. Long lines were seen at grocery stores and food pantries throughout the Portland metropolitan area.Local cannabis dispensaries saw an increased demand as customers stocked up in case stores were forced to close temporarily.
OLCC suspended the enforcement of the Oregon Bottle Bill on March 15 so that grocers can focus on restocking, sanitation and social distancing management. Grocers may elect to not accept bottle returns during this period. The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) which operates beverage container redemption centers throughout Oregon is keeping their centers open.
Oaks Amusement Park and the Oaks Park Roller Skating Rink, the Oregon Historical Society, the Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum, and Portland Japanese Garden closed as well.As of March 19, the Portland Art Museum and Oregon Museum of Science and Industry are closed through March 31 and mid April, respectively.The Crystal Ballroom and Hawthorne Theatre canceled or postponed planned shows through mid April.The City Club of Portland canceled activities. The Portland Rose Festival has postponed annual events, including the Starlight Parade, indefinitely. The American Herbal Products Association’s Hemp-CBD Congress, scheduled for mid April at the Benson Hotel, was canceled.
On March 14, the newspaper Portland Mercury suspended print publications until further notice.On March 23, restrictions prompted the closures of amusement parks, barber shops, bowling alleys, gyms, hair and nail salons, malls, spas, and theaters.In late April, activists and organizers of Portland’s annual May Day protests in conjunction with International Workers’ Day moved to host a “Virtual May Day Rally” on May 1. In May, organizers of Feast Portland announced the event would not be held as usual in September.The Portland Rose Festival held an online ‘Opening Night Concert and Fireworks’ event on May 22.The gay bar and nightclub CC Slaughters announced close indefinitely in October 2020.
Governor Brown initially closed schools all K–12 schools through March 31. A four-week extension was added; students are scheduled to return on April 28. Portland Public Schools designated 15 buildings as sites for student meal distributions, and has considered providing 45,000 devices to students for distance education.High school and college graduation ceremonies were canceled.On April 8, Brown extended the school closures through to the end of the school year.