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
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 10:46 AM

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.

Cases: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4636268

Reported Deaths: 67966
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144412725849
Riverside3575584802
San Diego3492274006
San Bernardino3468955501
Orange3135295354
Sacramento1498662070
Santa Clara1403871841
Fresno1356471889
Kern1343971515
Alameda1160681320
Ventura976231120
San Joaquin971621615
Contra Costa95595924
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72812896
San Mateo52172607
San Francisco51808605
Monterey49445565
Solano44061312
Santa Barbara43065500
Sonoma39376376
Merced39279535
Placer36390364
Imperial34235755
Kings30038285
San Luis Obispo28273313
Madera21672258
Butte21205230
Shasta20647276
Santa Cruz20134211
Yolo19118239
Marin17080242
El Dorado15964127
Sutter13055153
Napa1224695
Yuba923461
Nevada845685
Humboldt826284
Tehama821184
San Benito708567
Mendocino681971
Lassen636827
Tuolumne612593
Lake601087
Amador489759
Glenn396430
Siskiyou388841
Calaveras339366
Del Norte334234
Colusa290718
Inyo166239
Mono14935
Plumas12336
Mariposa96712
Trinity71910
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1180
Alpine1000
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