Memorial Day Weekend FAQs


Wondering if it’s OK to take a road trip? Host a small BBQ? Camp? Visit your favorite beach, trail, or park? Get answers here.

Is it OK to take a family road trip, local in Oregon, this weekend?

Oregonians have done an incredible job flattening the COVID-19 curve by staying home to save lives. As the state gradually reopens, it’s important we all keep it local this Memorial Day to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect communities that have worked hard to enter the first stage of reopening. Visiting other parts of the state may unknowingly spread the disease, and risk overwhelming their hospital capacity. 

As Governor Kate Brown and 26 Mayors across the state recently said: If you love the coast, stay home for now and plan your trip this summer. If you love the Columbia Gorge, keep it local this weekend and visit later on. If you love Central Oregon, it’ll still be there in a few weeks. Please keep it local for now.

Is it OK to host a small Memorial Day BBQ with close friends?

A small backyard barbeque with family and close friends is a great alternative to traveling this holiday weekend. Just remember: keep physical distancing of 6 feet or more between non-household members, be vigilant about washing your hands, and if grandparents are joining, it’s safest for everyone to wear a face covering. 

Smaller gatherings are the safest. In the Metro area (Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties) social gatherings must be limited to 10 people or less. In other parts of the state that are now in Phase 1, slightly larger social gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed, and still require physical distancing. Remember: smaller is safer!

Is it OK for me to have a big birthday party for my kid?

Right now, no — but there are so many other fun ways to celebrate your kid’s birthday. Have you been to a birthday “parade” yet? Ask your friends to decorate their cars and drive by the house to say hi to the birthday boy or girl from a distance — it’s a special, safe way to celebrate. 

Gatherings can become “super spreader” events, and with kids who may not understand physical distancing and want to play with each other, this can be extra dangerous. The best way to keep your children and their friends safe is to find alternate ways to connect instead of a large birthday party.

Is it OK for me to go to the Gorge and go hiking?

Any travel creates risk. As tempting as it may be to go hike in the Gorge this weekend, it’s best to find a trail local to your home. Local community Mayors in the Gorge are requesting that the public stays in their local communities during Memorial Day weekend. The Gorge will always be there later this summer.

Is it OK for me to skip wearing a face mask if I’m outside?

When it comes to wearing face coverings, remember this: wearing a face covering is both kind and smart. It protects you and your family.

Wear a face covering to protect your neighbors. Wear a face covering to safeguard older Oregonians. Wear a face covering to defend kids who have compromised immune systems from illnesses such as childhood cancer. Wear a face covering to respect doctors, nurses, grocery workers, police and others who take a risk to serve you. 

Is it OK to go camping at my favorite state park?

This weekend it’s safest for you and your family to stay local. Any travel to campgrounds across the state creates risk, however local campgrounds are a great option (or even pitching a tent in your backyard!). If you do visit a nearby campground, make sure to practice responsible outdoor recreation and “pack in, pack out” — bring everything you need, including hand sanitizer. And make sure to check before you go to make sure the campground you plan to visit is open, as many are still closed.

Thank you for helping to keep all Oregonians healthy and safe.

About Author

Natalie King serves on the Communications Team with the Office of Governor Kate Brown.

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