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Clackamas County pushing back Phase 2 application

Clackamas County decides to hold off on applying for Phase 2 of reopening to assess the effects of Phase 1.
Credit: KGW

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — Clackamas County is holding off on applying for Phase 2 of reopening.

On Thursday, the Board of County Commissioners agreed to hold off on the application for Phase 2 to ensure the county has a hold on Phase 1. It will also allow for time to train new contact tracers.

The county will consider reopening when the Oregon Health Authority releases COVID-19 public health indicators for Clackamas County for the week of June 15.

The county does not currently meet two of the six perquisites for further reopening, as cases continue to increase:

  • Trend in percent of tests that are positive in the last seven days should not uptrend.
  • Percent increase in new cases in last seven days should be no more than 5%. (Cases have increased in Clackamas County by 191%.)

“The partnership between public health and the entire community can help us stay safe and return to a new normal,” Dr. Sarah Present said at Thursday’s Board of County Commissioners Business meeting. “We are responsible for doing everything we can to identify and control the spread of the disease in order to not overwhelm the health care system and ultimately to save lives. We need the help of the community to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

The increase of cases is likely due to more testing and better contact tracing. However, the county said in a press release that the increase in cases is an indication of the effects of Phase 1 of reopening.

Community members can help limit the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Appropriate physical distancing
  • Washing hands
  • Wearing face coverings when out in the public
  • Staying home when you’re sick, even if you are only experiencing minor symptoms – or just aren’t sure.
  • Cooperating with Public Health contact tracers’ interviews and recommendations if you do get COVID-19 or are a close contact to someone who does

“We know that many want to get back work, see loved ones and friends in-person and enjoy some of our favorite summertime activities,” said Nancy Bush, Clackamas County Disaster Management Director. “We appreciate everyone’s continued sacrifice and efforts to control the spread as we carefully consider the appropriate time to move into Phase II.”

The Board of County Commissioners also extended its state of emergency declaration until July 31.

RELATED: Multnomah County 'planning to move forward' into Phase 1 of reopening

RELATED: Oregon plans to test all residents, staff at long-term care facilities for COVID-19

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