PORTLAND, Ore. — Three more Oregon counties, Hood River, Marion and Polk, were approved Wednesday by Gov. Kate Brown to enter Phase 2 of reopening on Friday, June 19.
The counties had applied to enter Phase 2 last week, but Brown put a week-long statewide hold on all reopening plans due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Over the last week, Brown said Marion and Polk counties have seen a decline in hospitalizations and Hood River had only new hospital admission in the past two weeks.
In order to reach Phase 2, counties must meet several prerequisites:
- Declining disease prevalence
- Have an adequate number of contact tracers, including people reflective of the communities they serve
- Establish adequate testing, isolation and quarantine facilities, sufficient hospital surge capacity, and sufficient personal protective equipment supply
- Demonstrate 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 experience a significant increase in cases
Thirty-two of Oregon’s 36 counties have now been approved to enter Phase 2 of reopening. The only counties that haven’t applied are Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and Lincoln.
The following restrictions are eased under Phase 2:
- 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.
In addition to the reopening news, Gov. Brown also made another announcement Wednesday that affects residents in Hood River, Marion and Polk counties. Face coverings will be required, beginning June 24, in all indoor public spaces, such as grocery stores and other businesses.
Also, the governor announced Marion and Polk counties, which represent the greater Salem area, will be grouped together for future reopening phases.