Published 08/04/2020 at 3:43 AM PDT
By OREGON TRAVEL DAILY STAFF
(Bend, Oregon) – The bottom has dropped out for summer tourism in central Oregon as Bend has officially asked visitors stay away due to a heavy rise in Coronavirus cases.
Visit Bend made the announcement and plea in the middle of July, after the Bend City Council voted to pass an advisory that restricts short term lodging through Labor Day. In essence, central Oregon tourism officials are asking visitors to stay away, while the city strongly advises lodgings to stop booking rooms.
There was no actual enforcement provision in the declaration: city and tourism officials simply asked all lodgings to cease any new bookings.
“At this time, it’s best to stay close to home and stay safe,” Travel Bend said on its website. “Bend will be here on the other side and it’s important we all do our part to keep each other safe.”
Deschutes County has seen a sudden rise in COVID cases starting near the end of June, with a steady 26 to 108 new cases a week since then. In early July, state officials found numerous businesses in the area not complying with social distancing or mask requirements, adding to the concern.
Meanwhile, Travel Bend is aware some may be coming to the area anyway and reminds visitors that masks are required in all indoor spaces. Moreover, Bend is working on fining those who do not comply.
Travel restrictions do not apply to necessary travel such as for work.
Travel Bend said just about all kinds of businesses in the area are open, including bars and restaurants. Nearly all natural attractions in the area are open as well, including state parks (which includes some camping), Bureau of Land Management lands, National Forest lands, Crater Lake and Mt. Bachelor.
See Travel Bend for updates and official information.
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