SALEM, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown announced on Thursday that 26 Oregon counties have been approved for Phase 2 of reopening. On Friday, Brown added three more counties to the list.
County officials submitted letters to her office requesting to enter Phase 2. Each official had to confirm their county met the prerequisites for Phase 2 which are:
• Declining disease prevalence
• Having an adequate number of contact tracers, including people reflective of the communities they serve
• Establishing adequate testing, isolation and quarantine facilities, sufficient hospital surge capacity, and sufficient personal protective equipment supply
Counties must also meet additional prerequisites, including:
• Demonstrating that they are able to trace new cases within 24 hours
• As counties see new cases, they must be able to identify where they are coming from at least 70% of the time
• Counties cannot be experiencing a significant increase in cases
“Today, most of us live in communities where people are venturing out a bit. We do so cautiously, looking out for friends, family and neighbors,” said Gov. Brown. “I want to say thank you to each and every Oregonian who has made tremendous sacrifices to protect the health and safety of our communities.
“Any reopening comes with risk. That’s just a fact of life right now. We need to reduce the risk that comes with reopening. So, fellow Oregonians, you have further opportunity to show that you are looking out for your friends, family and neighbors.”
The following counties will be entering Phase 2:
Phase 2 includes the following:
• Gathering limits will be raised to 50 people indoors, and 100 people outdoors.
• Indoor and outdoor venues, including theaters and churches, with 6 feet of physical distancing and other measures in place, can reach a COVID-19 occupancy limit of up to 250.
• Offices can begin reopening and employees can return to workplaces with physical distancing and other measures in place, though remote work is still strongly recommended whenever possible.
• Increased travel will be allowed throughout Oregon, though staying local is still recommended to prevent overloading county health systems.
• Restaurants and bars will have curfews extended to midnight.
• Pools and sports courts will be allowed to reopen under new guidance.
• Indoor and outdoor activities such as bowling, batting cages, and mini golf, will be allowed to reopen under new guidance.
• Recreational sports can resume in a limited form, under strict physical distancing guidance.
Not all counties cleared to enter Phase 2 met all requirements, a press release said. However, the Oregon Health authority analyzed the metrics for each county. In some cases, counties did not have at least 70% of new cases tracked to an existing known case but the number of cases was fewer than 5.
Clackamas, Hood River, Lincoln, Marion, Polk and Washington counties have not applied for Phase 2 yet. Multnomah County has applied for Phase 1.
A video presentation for counties and members of the public with questions about Phase 2 is available here.