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Local businesses re-open, defying state executive order

The “Stay home, save lives” executive order, issued by Governor Brown remains in effect, however non-essential businesses in downtown Grants Pass are beginning to open their doors to customers.

Posted: May 5, 2020 6:47 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Some local small businesses are re-opening without permission from the Governor’s office.

The “Stay home, save lives” executive order, issued by Governor Brown remains in effect, however non-essential businesses in downtown Grants Pass are beginning to open their doors to customers.

Ann and Shan’s on SW 6th St. in Grants Pass re-opened yesterday. The store hours have been adjusted and precautions have been taken to ensure shoppers feel safe, according to co-owner, Shannon Holder.

“We’ve taken our precautions, we’ve got the plexiglass divider coming in, we’ve taped off the floors, we’ve got the hand sanitizer,” said Holder, “we could do it curbside still if you feel more comfortable that way.”

Holder says she understands why the executive order was put into place but businesses can no longer wait for a re-opening by the state.

“I think it was good and we’ve done our part but it’s ready to open,” said Holder, “I think we’re pretty safe. I know there’s a lot of controversy over that but it may never go away; it’s just one of those things, we can’t stay cooped up in our homes, we have to be able to get out and live life.”

Holder says she’s spoken with city and county officials and have their support.

“We’ve talked with many city officials and county officials, they’re supportive of it and they’re just saying to do what we can to take all the precautions and keep everything clean,” said Holder.

Violating the governor’s orders under the current state of emergency is a Class C misdemeanor, for which the penalty is up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,250, or both. This applies to business owners and their patrons. However, local law enforcement’s focus throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to educate citizens.

Grants Pass Department of Public Safety says they do not plan to cite businesses or make any arrests.

“Within the executive order we do have the authority to issue a citation and or make an arrest,” said Chief Warren Hensman, “that is the furthest thing that we want to do right now. In fact, it’s not on our radar at all.”

Chief Hensman says he has directed officers to coach, guide and provide education to social distancing violations.

“If we receive complaints about businesses opening, we will respond like any other call for service,” said Hensman, “depending on the business we will pass that information on to the state agency and in this case, it would be the Oregon Health Authority.”

The Mayor of the City of Grants Pass says he’s been made aware, only recently, that there are business owners looking at reopening while the Governor’s executive order is in place. According to Mayor Roy Lindsay, as long as citizens are maintaining social distancing practices, he doesn’t see an issue with businesses reopening.

“It’s been 7-8 weeks since we’ve been shut down. That’s a terrific burden on everybody,” said Lindsay, “I mean, when your livelihood is threatened, you’re going to start doing things to correct that situation; that’s human nature, that’s understandable but please do it safely and do it harmoniously.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 8931

Reported Deaths: 208
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah223969
Marion153947
Washington137920
Clackamas75124
Umatilla5334
Union3421
Lincoln3242
Deschutes1830
Lane1653
Linn1519
Polk14912
Yamhill1268
Malheur1241
Klamath1230
Jefferson1180
Jackson1170
Hood River880
Benton845
Wasco731
Morrow641
Clatsop490
Douglas420
Coos410
Josephine331
Columbia300
Lake190
Tillamook110
Crook100
Wallowa100
Curry70
Baker40
Grant10
Harney10
Sherman10
Gilliam00
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 238681

Reported Deaths: 6169
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1056653405
Riverside18041463
San Diego14623370
Orange14413345
San Bernardino12746258
Imperial652397
Alameda6156136
Fresno528975
Kern476876
Santa Clara4572158
Tulare4323128
San Joaquin391454
San Francisco364850
Sacramento339768
San Mateo3311108
Contra Costa324877
Ventura309646
Santa Barbara289629
Kings250434
Marin239419
Stanislaus231044
Monterey169115
Solano140225
Sonoma11857
Merced113111
Placer72411
San Luis Obispo6422
Yolo55524
Madera5415
Santa Cruz3993
Napa3334
San Benito2392
Lassen2330
El Dorado1980
Sutter1973
Butte1892
Humboldt1334
Shasta1294
Nevada1171
Glenn1150
Yuba941
Mendocino850
Tehama821
Lake790
Colusa590
Del Norte511
Mono421
Calaveras400
Inyo321
Siskiyou310
Tuolumne300
Mariposa271
Amador240
Plumas100
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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