This is the text of an email sent Friday to all City of Hood River Transient Rental Tax Certificate holders regarding the City Council-approved ban on discretionary, or recreational, overnight visits to Hood River:

“You likely have or will soon receive a letter dated March 25 that includes a copy of the Mayor’s Emergency Declaration placing restrictions on transient lodging facilities. The City Council held a special meeting this morning ratifying the mayor’s declaration via Resolution 2020-05. The city council also asked that the following statement further explaining the policy intent of the declaration be sent out:

“The recent ban on hotel stays in the City of Hood River are designed to assist all of us in clamping down on recreational tourism and associated overnight stays as we work together to manage the containment and mitigation of COVID-19 in our community. We understand through communication with many local operators during the past 24-hours and with the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) that lodging operators will play an important role in the weeks ahead. The ban is intended specifically for leisure and non-essential travel, which is inappropriate at this time. We stand by our partners in making sure appropriate shelter is made available for essential workers still in the field, emergency situations, sheltering of vulnerable populations and sheltering of those quarantined because of COVID-19 exposure, and other accommodation needs which will result from our collective work in fighting COVID-19. We ask that you train your front-line staff to identify legitimate reasons for an overnight stay and also to be diligent about identifying and turning away anyone wishing to stay due to leisure activities and for non-essential reason.

“For questions and information about this order, contact Will Norris, assistant city manager at or at 541-387-5214. This order coincides with the City of Hood River’s declaration of emergency, which is in effect until April 14, unless extended by the city manager.”

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Thanks to our City leaders for banning non-essential visitors use of hotels, losing and STRs. We all need to urge our leaders to extend the temporary ban beyond April 14, 2020. Vacation and tourism travel should not be happening during this health emergency. We don't need tourists from cities with higher incidence of COVID-19 coming into town and potentially spreading the virus at local grocery stores, gas stations and take out restaurants.

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