Douglas County approved to enter second phase of state reopening plan

Douglas County Board of Commissioners have announced that the board received notice today (June 4) that the county has successfully completed Phase One of Gov. Kate Brown’s Reopening Plan following the county’s letter sent on May 29 requesting to enter Phase Two.

Douglas County will be among the first of Oregon’s counties to enter the Governor’s Phase Two process that looks to provide further relaxing of restrictions on group gatherings, as well as additional opportunities for businesses to reopen and expand offerings.

As mentioned in the Governor’s press conference Wednesday (June 3), there will be expanded openings for recreational activities, including public pools, museums, movie theaters and summer youth camps. Additionally, collegiate athletes will be able to resume sports activities.

All of these will of course be subject to new guidelines and restrictions as directed by the Governor and the Oregon Health Authority. At this time, Douglas County is awaiting final guidance on Phase Two guidelines, with the county entering that phase this Friday (June 5), 21 days after entering Phase One.

 Phase One of Reopening in Douglas County has gone very well. We are fortunate to have the support of our local communities; that we have the right people in the right places to guide us through this pandemic; and we have put ourselves in the position to advance to Phase Two,” said Commissioner Chris Boice.” Even though we are moving forward, this will not be a quick or easy road for our local businesses or residents. We will all need to work together to help our neighbors, friends, families and our livelihoods rebound from this crisis. Please continue to support your local communities by making purchases, dining out, staying home if you are sick and signing up to volunteer when and where you can.” 

Douglas County’s Phase Two request letter was submitted by Boice, who as board chair worked in conjunction with our Public Health Official, Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer to complete and submit the Phase Two request letter.

We are entering Phase Two because of our vigorous response to COVID-19. We have done all the hard work locally to prepare and respond to this pandemic. We do anticipate more cases because the threat of this virus is not gone, but we have increased our epidemiology capability to track cases and support quarantine and isolation to reduce the spread,” said Dr. Dannenhoffer. “All indicators are showing we have a low burden of COVID disease here locally. But we still encourage people to socially distance, stay home if you’re sick and wear masks in public to reduce the spread if you’re asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. I believe we are prepared to enter this next phase.”

Douglas County has been a leader in COVID-19 response for its drive-through testing, coordinated planning, prevention messaging and hospital/care facility capacity preparedness.

I am very proud of our County and the hard work that has gone into our COVID-19 response efforts,said Commissioner Tom Kress. The advancement to Phase Two is a reward for all our efforts.” 

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.

The work done by Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, our Douglas County Public Health Officer, Douglas Public Health Network and the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team has been remarkable. The proof is in the numbers; our consistent messaging and the unprecedented cooperation of our medical and business communities,” said Freeman.