PORTLAND, Oregon — Some rural Oregon counties with low numbers of COVID-19 cases have already applied to enter the state's recently announced Phase 1 and could be allowed to reopen as early as this coming Friday.
Gov. Kate Brown announced new guidance and a three-phase plan for reopening counties and businesses last week.
When a county has entered Phase 1, restrictions will be eased for restaurants, salons, gyms and local gatherings, so long as they meet requirements that include social distancing.
The governor also provided guidelines for reopening child care facilities on May 15 with some limitations and specific guidelines.
The state said child care facilities should get more details this week about rules for reopening.
Parents we spoke with are anxious to hear more about the state’s plan.
Stephanie Michael is a mother of three. In March, the family had to stop going to their daycare because of strict rules limiting the number of kids allowed at child care facilities. She's glad child care facilities are part of the reopening conversation.
"It makes me happy because anything talked about that isn't child care isn't the first step. Child care has to be the first step," Michael said.
Counties and regions will have to meet seven prerequisites, including declining COVID-19 prevalence, before entering Phase 1 of the reopening plan.
After 21 days of compliance in Phase 1, counties may be allowed to move into Phase 2, which should loosen restrictions further.
The specifics of Phase 2 have not been finalized and will be guided by data collected in Phase 1.
The final phase, Phase 3, focuses on large gatherings. The state has announced that they will not be allowed in Oregon until reliable treatment or prevention of COVID-19 is widely available.
Specifically, all concerts, conventions, festivals, sports and other gatherings with large audiences are canceled through at least September, under the governor's order.
Some statewide restrictions have been lifted already. On May 1, non-emergency medical procedures were again allowed, and some state parks and day-use areas were opened May 5.