PORTLAND, Ore. — Three more Oregon counties have been approved for Phase One reopening on Friday, according to a statement from the Governor's office on Thursday afternoon.
In a press conference that morning, Governor Kate Brown named 28 of Oregon's 36 counties as having gained approval from the Oregon Health Authority for a Friday reopening. Three counties did not apply, two were rejected, and three remained under review.
Those last three were Jefferson, Umatilla, and Morrow counties. State officials said that they needed more information from the counties before they could be approved.
Just a few hours later, that approval came through. All three counties were cleared to enter Phase One on May 15, meaning that 31 Oregon counties have now been approved.
"County officials provided additional information today to the Oregon Health Authority and the Governor’s Office to confirm all three counties met Oregon’s safety and preparedness prerequisites for reopening," Governor Brown's office said.
Reopening applications from Marion and Polk counties were rejected due to a recent rise in community spread COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Brown's office said that they would be monitored over the next seven days to see if conditions improved.
Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties did not apply. All three have become a consistent epicenter for coronavirus spread, hospitalizations, and deaths since the outbreak began. Each would have to see a prolonged decline in those cases and enough medical resources to deal with a potential surge before they could be cleared for Phase One.