Governor Kate Brown approves Clackamas County to re-open starting Saturday.
Phase I includes limited reopening of restaurants and bars, personal services, gyms and malls. Gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed for recreational, social, cultural, civic or faith events as long as physical distancing requirements are met.
Washington County has applied to the state for reopening, with a goal of entering Phase I on Monday, June 1.
“As we await the state’s decision about our application, we need everyone in our community to understand that our success under Phase 1 reopening will be of our own making,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Kathryn Harrington. “Each of us will need to be responsible for following the public health guidelines necessary to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. We all need to do our part so our community moves safely into our less restricted future, not backward into our more restricted past.”
“We understand that people are anxious to return to some sense of normal life,” said Health and Human Services Director Marni Kuyl. “If we are approved for Phase I on June 1, we urge our community to take a cautious approach. We can all do our part to prevent a resurgence of disease spread and hospitalizations by staying home if we are sick, practicing physical distancing, washing our hands often, and wearing cloth face coverings.”
New investigative guidelines from OHA require asking positive cases and their entire households to quarantine at home for 14 days, even when family members are not sick. This quarantine could go on for much longer if more than one household member becomes ill. Some of the county’s new workforce will provide support and resources to these families who are unable to meet their essential needs, such as getting groceries.
“We know that many families and businesses are struggling and need to get back to work,” said Kuyl. “But the public health risk that comes with reopening is real. We are going to be asking the public to continue to make sacrifices for many weeks and months to come.”
“I want to thank our county public health and emergency coordination staff for the outstanding work they have done under trying circumstances to get us to this point,” said Harrington. “There is no question in my mind that their efforts have saved lives and are positioning us to take this next step successfully.”
Multnomah County has yet to make its request.