PORTLAND, Ore. — On Thursday, Governor Kate Brown officially announced which of Oregon's 36 counties have been approved to begin reopening from the state's coronavirus countermeasures. In all, 28 counties were cleared to enter "Phase One" of the reopening process on Friday.
"In each of these counties we will continue to monitor testing rates, effectiveness at contract tracing and isolation of new cases, hospitalization rates and other metrics that are required to remain open in Phase One," said Governor Brown. “I am focused on protecting the health and safety of Oregonians, while understanding that job losses have a negative impact on public health –– both physical and emotional health.”
Some aspects of Phase One are already common knowledge — restaurants will be able resume dine-in service and many other businesses such as salons and gyms can open their doors. However, some things are changing statewide, whether a county has been approved for Phase One or not.
Where the state has provided specific restrictions or guidance, we've linked to the latest documents where you can find more information:
Statewide guidelines (with or without Phase I approval)
In all Oregon counties, the following guidelines take effect or remain in effect beginning May 15:
- Stand-alone retail operations can open, provided they meet required safety and physical distancing guidelines.
- Local outdoor recreation activities are open, including many state parks.
- Non-emergency medical care, dentist offices and veterinary care are open and operating, provided they meet required safety guidelines.
- Local cultural, civic and faith gatherings are allowed for up to 25 people provided physical distancing can be in place.
- Child care is open under certain restrictions, with priority placements for children of health care workers, first responders, and frontline workers.
- Summer camp and summer school program guidelines are forthcoming.
Phase I county changes
In counties approved for Phase I, the following additional areas can operate if they comply with sector-specific health and safety guidance beginning May 15:
- Restaurants, bars, and other such establishments for dine-in service until 10 p.m.
- Personal services businesses (salons, barbers, and massage clinics)
- All retail businesses, including malls and shopping centers
- Gyms and other fitness facilities
- Local gatherings of up to 25 people (limited travel)
Some businesses have already announced that they will wait at least a few more days past Friday before reopening as they work to prepare and plan for the latest guidance. Gyms and fitness centers in particular did not receive specific requirements from the state until Thursday.
While the next step is Phase Two, none of Oregon's counties will be eligible for this step until 21 days after entering Phase One. Moreover, state officials have admitted that they are still working on the specifics of what Phase Two will entail. It will most likely include the option of increased work in offices, larger local gatherings of up to 100 people, and limited visitation to nursing homes.