Douglas County approved by governor to begin Phase 1 re-opening


The first phase of the reopening process will begin for county businesses Friday

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners received notice late Wednesday night (May 13) that its application to begin the Phase One Reopening process in Douglas County was approved by Gov. Kate Brown.

The first phase of the reopening process will begin for county businesses Friday, May 15, and Douglas County will be among the first of Oregon’s counties to start the process of reopening businesses, along with neighboring Lane County. 

 “This has been a tumultuous time for many of our citizens, as well as for the livelihood of our local businesses. But hopefully the reopening process will bring renewed life back into our struggling economy,” said Douglas County Commissioner and Board Chair Chris Boice. “Douglas County worked hard to make sure every aspect of managing the health and safety of our citizens was carefully prepared and organized in order to be on the forefront of the reopening process.”

Douglas County’s application was submitted May 8, by Boice, who worked in conjunction with the county’s Public Health Official, Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer to complete and submit the county’s reopening application to the Governor’s office.

“I am glad we have done so well in limiting the outbreaks and keeping our healthcare facilities from getting overwhelmed during the pandemic,” said Dr. Dannenhoffer. “I think we are as ready as anywhere to safely begin reopening our businesses. We may see more cases, but we will continue to be vigilant in limiting the impact of COVID-19 to our citizens.”

Douglas County said it will continue its drive-through testing, coordinated planning, prevention messaging and hospital/care facility capacity preparedness as part of its Phase 1 reopening process.

“I want to thank the Governor for recognizing the hard work Douglas County has done in combating this virus. It is a tremendous measure of reassurance for a job well done,” Commissioner Tom Kress said.

As the delegated liaison Commissioner to the COVID-19 crisis response, Commissioner Tim Freeman has directed the efforts of the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team. 

“Douglas County owes a tremendous amount of gratitude to Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, Douglas Public Health Network and the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team for what they have accomplished in successfully managing the COVID-19 pandemic in Douglas County,” Freeman said. “If it was not for their cooperative efforts, we would not be able to safely start the process of reopening our businesses in a measured and phased manner. A huge thank you also needs to be given to the citizens of Douglas County for taking the crisis seriously, helping to flatten the curve for the spread of the virus, and for stepping up to help our fellow citizens in a desperate time. We all made this happen together.”

For specific information on the county’s Phase 1 Reopening plan, visit: 05.13.20_letter_to_Douglas_County_approval_phase_one.pdf

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