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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.

Cases: 345344

Reported Deaths: 4084
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54651678
Washington37724310
Marion35705439
Clackamas28835298
Lane26661291
Jackson22465297
Deschutes19252122
Umatilla14081139
Linn12200114
Douglas11664238
Josephine9174191
Yamhill8438108
Klamath7549106
Polk707380
Malheur542374
Benton521531
Coos481591
Columbia368143
Jefferson355650
Union309944
Lincoln306033
Wasco275839
Crook263643
Clatsop238027
Baker195628
Tillamook191926
Hood River186036
Morrow180223
Curry177019
Harney106424
Grant96512
Lake86910
Wallowa65712
Gilliam1484
Sherman1453
Wheeler941
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4802761

Reported Deaths: 70456
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147341026379
Riverside3689534978
San Diego3631694151
San Bernardino3558485562
Orange3224975513
Sacramento1574982273
Santa Clara1443001886
Fresno1437452048
Kern1437161600
Alameda1197741365
San Joaquin1016431696
Ventura1004421162
Contra Costa99102969
Stanislaus849231310
Tulare78753945
San Francisco53974644
San Mateo53781618
Monterey50676582
Solano45734334
Santa Barbara44770518
Merced41680577
Sonoma40638400
Placer38813412
Imperial35591762
Kings32197312
San Luis Obispo29590330
Madera23420281
Butte23298257
Shasta23230334
Santa Cruz20830217
Yolo20092247
Marin17570243
El Dorado16947149
Sutter13762169
Napa12797100
Yuba992780
Tehama9240103
Humboldt9085108
Nevada902590
Mendocino751686
Lassen743743
San Benito735972
Tuolumne671793
Lake6499103
Amador536763
Siskiyou442742
Glenn429930
Calaveras380279
Del Norte355739
Colusa301618
Inyo194239
Mono16285
Plumas15476
Mariposa126215
Trinity85811
Modoc6678
Sierra1710
Unassigned1480
Alpine1020
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