Visitors to Cannon Beach are being ordered to leave by Monday evening, and the town’s hotels will be closed indefinitely, according to a resolution adopted by the Cannon Beach City Council Sunday.
The resolution is in effect until April 6 but could be extended beyond that date by the council.
A visitor is defined as “any individual who is spending time in the city for pleasure, recreation or nonbusiness reasons and is not a resident, property owner or business owner.”
Meeting in an emergency session, the council acted in response to a deluge of visitors who flooded Cannon Beach last weekend, the first weekend of spring break. The resolution unanimously adopted by the council notes that “visitors congregated throughout the city without following social distancing guidelines issued by state and federal health authorities and caused a depletion of critical resources such as food and supplies at local vendors.”
Although the resolution doesn’t require businesses other than hotels to close, some restaurants and other shops have temporarily shut down, said Jim Paino, director of the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce.
The city’s “evacuation order” doesn’t apply to the following individuals:
Local residents and property owners
Invitees of local residents and property owners
Local business owners
Employees of local business owners
Vendors, agents and service providers of local residents, property owners and businesses
Mail and delivery drivers and employees, such as USPS, UPS and FedEx
Individuals traveling through the streets and highways within the jurisdictional boundaries of the city who do not stop
Essential workers, including but not limited to doctors, nurses and other health care workers, US Coast Guard members, delivery drivers and other persons providing essential services to the city, and
County residents traveling to the city of Cannon Beach to obtain essential services such as food and gas.
Although hotels will be closed immediately to visitors, they are permitted to provide service to only the following persons while the city’s emergency declaration is in effect:
Residents registered for longer than 30 days
Employees of a facility provided lodging at no cost as a requirement of their employment
Essential workers, including but not limited to doctors, nurses and other health care workers, US Coast Guard members, delivery drivers, utility workers, utility crews, bar pilots, river pilots and other persons providing essential services to the city.
Because many Cannon Beach residents are retired and “skews older than the general population,” the local population is more vulnerable to COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, the resolution states. The North Coast also has limited medical resources, which could be overwhelmed when a large influx of visitors arrive during declared emergencies, it added.
Oregon state law allows cities to “carry out an activity to minimize the impact of emergency conditions during a declared emergency,” according to the resolution. State law also allows city officials to order an “evacuation of residents or other individuals after a state of emergency is declared when necessary for public safety or when necessary to mitigate the effects of the emergency.”