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Brown orders Oregon bars and restaurants to be take-out only to fight COVID-19

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown has ordered all bars and restaurants in Oregon to close their dine-in facilities to fight the spread of coronavirus, and the illness it causes, COVID-19.

On her official Twitter account, Brown said "no on-site consumption permitted," though she clarified that food service at hospitals, workplaces and other essential facilities will continue.

The decision is part of Oregon's new social distancing measures intended to decrease the rate of virus transmission. Under the new mandate, all events and gatherings larger than 25 people are canceled, exempting "essential locations" such as workplaces, grocery stores, pharmacies and retail stores, Brown posted on her Twitter.

Brown took it a step further, urging all Oregon residents to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more to reduce the virus spread.

"We all know that as a community, we hold each other together in times of need. Working together, we are stronger together. Even if it’s in ways we never thought possible," Brown wrote.

Prior to the new measures, Brown had ordered all K-12 schools in the state to close until April 1 and had banned gatherings of more than 250 people. Locally, numerous events, libraries and nonprofits have announced closures, cancellations and postponements .