PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — State officials say despite a fourth surge and rising numbers of patients hospitalized because of COVID-19, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will ease restrictions by allowing “indoor full-contact sports” to restart by the end of the week.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the governor’s office and the Oregon Health Authority said the move is in recognition of “the importance of athletics for the physical and mental health of Oregon’s youth athletes,” although the loosened restrictions also apply to adults.
Low-contact indoor sports already were permitted, but the new rules for the first time since last spring will allow Oregonians of all ages to engage in indoor basketball, cheerleading, wrestling and water polo, among other sports.
Over the past month, new daily cases have increased about 150%, including 55% in the past two weeks.
That’s faster than the national average, with new cases rising in the United States 4% in the past two weeks.
The number of hospitalized patients in Oregon also has jumped from 106 people a month ago to 255 Tuesday, roughly a 140% increase. In the past two weeks, Oregon’s number of COVID-19 patients have grown by 49%, compared with the national average of 10%.