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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
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.

Confirmed Cases: 39794

Reported Deaths: 627
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8588154
Marion5509105
Washington538570
Umatilla326743
Clackamas294265
Lane212825
Malheur184733
Jackson15106
Deschutes106213
Yamhill94415
Linn74514
Polk63115
Jefferson5939
Morrow5406
Lincoln50813
Union4562
Benton4166
Klamath3973
Wasco33215
Douglas3164
Hood River2681
Josephine2572
Columbia2471
Clatsop2350
Coos2220
Baker1122
Crook832
Tillamook700
Curry561
Wallowa402
Lake350
Sherman180
Harney130
Gilliam110
Grant100
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 879645

Reported Deaths: 16982
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2893666877
Riverside640751272
San Bernardino597791021
Orange570711410
San Diego52735853
Kern33448410
Fresno30051429
Sacramento24425468
Santa Clara23355378
Alameda22738433
San Joaquin21187484
Contra Costa18157234
Stanislaus17341392
Tulare17120275
Ventura13901160
Imperial12475335
San Francisco11901133
Monterey1109183
San Mateo10810157
Santa Barbara9608119
Merced9314152
Sonoma8934129
Kings815983
Solano711774
Marin7019124
Madera488673
San Luis Obispo400932
Placer397852
Yolo307356
Butte301950
Santa Cruz270623
Napa188214
Sutter179612
Shasta172329
San Benito140314
El Dorado12834
Yuba125310
Mendocino110321
Tehama7748
Lassen7571
Lake67015
Glenn6393
Nevada5828
Humboldt5549
Colusa5456
Calaveras33317
Amador31316
Tuolumne2494
Inyo21515
Siskiyou1840
Mono1752
Del Norte1731
Mariposa782
Plumas540
Modoc270
Trinity230
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
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