The painful measures undertaken in Sisters and across the globe during the past week — school closures, event cancellations and “social distancing” measures — are part of an effort to “flatten the curve” in the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

While cases of COVID-19 remain few in Deschutes County, the aim of active measures is to prevent an explosion of cases such as what occurred in Italy.

As NPR reported last week, “The idea is to increase social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus, so that you don’t get a huge spike in the number of people getting sick all at once. If that were to happen, there wouldn’t be enough hospital beds or mechanical ventilators for everyone who needs them, and the U.S. hospital system would be overwhelmed.”

On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called for the cancellation of in-person events of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

As of Monday afternoon, Governor Kate Brown mandated that restaurants be restricted to take out and delivery only. She also banned gatherings of more than 25 people, though encouraging no more than 10.