Lane, Douglas counties begin Phase One Reopening today


The next stage in the rapidly evolving COVID-19 paradigm begins today (May 15) following Governor Kate Brown’s announcement Thursday that Lane and Douglas counties were among the 28 Oregon counties approved for the Phase One Reopening, which begins today.

“It has been over seven weeks since I announced Oregon’s Stay Home, Save Lives order…This has been extraordinarily difficult. But it is saving lives. Our success this far gives me confidence as we take these next steps toward reopening,” Brown said Thursday.

The governor’s office received applications from 33 counties seeking to enter the Phase One Reopening, with each application being examined before forwarding them to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) for further review. 

OHA’s team of medical and public health experts reviewed each application, in some cases asking for clarifying information.

In each of the counties given approval, the state will continue to monitor testing rates, effectiveness at contact tracing, isolation of new cases, hospitalization rates and other metrics that are required to remain open during the 21-day Phase One period. 

Brown was also clear on the specific guidelines regarding newly authorized reopening for segments of the business community which have been temporarily closed.

  • Restaurants and bars in these counties will be allowed to open for sit-down service so long as they maintain the six-foot distancing requirements between tables, limit parties to a maximum of 10 people, require all employees to wear face coverings, and end on- site consumption by 10 p.m.
  • Personal care businesses, including barbers and salons, may open in these counties but must screen clients prior to service, limit visits to scheduled appointments, record their client list, maintain physical distancing requirements between clients, and require providers to wear face coverings.
  • Gyms in these counties may be open in a limited capacity, maintaining social distancing of at least six feet between gym users, close all showers and pools, and have strong cleaning protocols in place.
  • Retail businesses can also open using physical distancing, as long as they follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. It is recommended that guidelines be posted through proper signage, one-way flow in aisles, and using tape markings to delineate space.
  • Childcare, summer school and youth programs will also be allowed to resume while adhering to specific guidelines to reduce the potential spread of the virus. Updated guidelines for childcare, youth summer camps and summer school programs are available at (https://sharedsystems.dhsoha. state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le2353.pdf)
  • Finally, these counties will be allowing in-person gatherings of up to 25 people for any purpose so long as physical distancing is maintained.

Brown also strongly encourage people to continue working from home wherever possible during the first phase to mitigate any potential spread. The governor also applauded the work by done by counties to prepare the applications and respond to additional concerns or questions from OHA officials. Additionally, Brown cautioned Oregonians that if virus spikes are detected, there would be a reevaluation of the granted approvals.

“All counties entering Phase One will need to stay in that phase for at least three weeks before any further loosening of restrictions” Brown cautioned. “And frankly, people need to know that if there is a significant spike in cases in a community — a spike that cannot be addressed and contained via contact tracing and quarantine — that we may need to put the Stay at Home rules back in place in order to contain the virus.”

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