Corvallis during Oregon’s two-week freeze

The front door of Lupe’s, displaying their hours and availability during Oregon’s two week freeze.  Due to the two week freeze, many restaurants are staying open for shorter hours and only doing takeout orders.

Jeremiah Estrada, News Contributor

The statewide two-week freeze that started on Nov. 18, will be in effect until Dec. 2, and limits gatherings in establishments throughout the city of Corvallis, Ore. to decrease the spread of COVID-19 across the state.

The initiative that was announced by Gov. Kate Brown is to implement new measures to reduce the risk of illness in communities. This affects businesses and organizations that continue to operate in person during the pandemic. There is now a limit of six people on indoor and outdoor social gatherings, and changes or closure of certain establishments.

“Some businesses will be required to close under the Governor’s order,” said Patrick Rollens, Corvallis public information officer, via email. “Other businesses can adjust services and continue operating (like takeout service for restaurants in lieu of dine-in service).”

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Restaurants local to the Oregon State University campus and within the city are undergoing difficulties and changes since the start of the freeze along with ongoing effects from the pandemic.

Dusty Lawellin-Mendoza, one of the owners of Lupe’s Restaurant and Calavera Bar, shared her thoughts on the shutdown that is in place and how she and her husband adjusted their business to the situation.

“It’s a huge hit for our revenue,” Lawellin-Mendoza said. “We work a lot with the campus community and the kids that are there as far as the nightlife and dinner.”

The statewide freeze cuts into the business’ hours and food bills of Lupe’s. Less work time will be available to be offered to the employees because not as many servers are not needed with the shift to take-out. Before the shutdown, the restaurant was offering a dine-in option as well as outdoor seating for customers.

Lawellin-Mendoza said that the revenue of their restaurant is down to as much as half of what they previously had been making because of the freeze and the pandemic altogether.

If Lupe’s is allowed to open after the freeze in early December, the staff and owners will be dependent on the restrictions and regulations that will be put in place. Previously, the restaurant had been able to provide dining services to groups of ten.

“It’s going to help control some of the spread,” Lawellin-Mendoza said. “Although, with [thanksgiving], I’m not sure that we’re going to see the decrease that they’re hoping to see.”

Facilities such as gyms and fitness centers will also be completely closed during the two-week pause.

“The governor specifically mentioned that gyms needed to close completely,” said Marcus Taylor, Planet Fitness general manager. “We’re going to open as soon as we’re allowed to.”

Other facilities, offices, lobbies and customer service areas offered through the City of Corvallis will be closed to the public. Most of these services will remain available via phone or online

The three community centers operated by the Parks and Recreation Department will be closed as well. The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library will offer contactless pickup and continue its popular delivery service.

“The goal of the freeze is to limit gatherings and stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 across Oregon,” Rollens said. “We need to bring our case counts down so that we can avoid overwhelming hospitals in Oregon.”