PORTLAND, Ore. — All Oregon stores can open to shoppers again Friday, as long as they aren't in a mall and they follow state COVID-19 health guidelines.
In a news release Wednesday, Oregon officials confirmed that “all retailers statewide, including those that were mandated to close previously, will be able to operate as long as they can implement the new safety measures required, effective May 15.”
The declaration gives the green light to furniture stores, jewelry stores, boutiques and art galleries, which were closed March 23 by Gov. Brown’s stay-home order.
It also includes all other standalone shops, from toy stores to book stores to secondhand stores. Those were never technically ordered to close, state officials clarified Wednesday.
Stores in outdoor and indoor shopping centers are the exception. If they don’t provide essential services, they have to wait for their counties to qualify for reopening as part of Oregon’s three-phase plan. State officials approved 31 counties to reopen starting Friday.
All retailers that open for foot traffic must follow state regulations for keeping customers and clerks safe from COVID-19 infection. Among other rules, stores must limit customers, maintain six feet of distance between people and post signs to encourage social distancing.
One clothing store that plans to reopen is Sloan Boutique. The 14-year-old clothing store has multiple locations around Portland. Owner, Karalee White, says her employees are donning face masks, cleaning stores and getting clothes racks ready.
Just because stores can reopen, doesn't mean they will. KGW reached out to some businesses who were unaware they could reopen on Friday, believing they only could if their county entered the first phase of reopening.