Reopening Phase One

Governor Brown has announced Phase One of her Reopening Oregon Plan that includes allowing restaurants and bars to reopen by May 15 if there are following the state’s COVID-19 protection guidelines.

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Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced Phase One of her Oregon Reopening framework that includes county’s formally requesting permission to restart businesses and other functions.

Brown said the state’s immediate efforts taken to protect communities and shelter parts of the economy in an effort to save lives have made a difference.

“Today, thanks to millions of Oregonians following strict physical distancing measures I am happy to say these sacrifices have prevented as many as 70,000 COVUD-19 infections and 1,500 hospitalizations,” she said. “We are on track to meet the goals doctors and health experts have pit lined for us.”

Under Brown’s reopening plan, counties with few or no COVID-19 cases could enter Phase 1 by May 15. Retail businesses, gyms, salons and barber shops are allowed to reopen if they are following the state’s requirements for reopening and Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines.

Brown said hospitalizations of COVID-19 have been stabilized and the state hit a record low of the last week with fewer than 100 coronavirus hospitalization across the state. The state has also increased its supply of personal protection equipment for front line workers and finalized its testing and contracting tracing capabilities.

“Things are defiantly improving,” Brown said. “Science and data are my guideposts as we begin the reopening of Oregon.

Brown said the state expects that there may be an uptick in new coronas cases.

“That’s why we have to be prepared in every corner of the state,” she said.

Part of Brown’s reopening framework also continues to prohibit large gatherings, such as concerts and festivals, until at least September.

Following her Portland news conference Thursday morning, Brown released the following.

Governor Kate Brown today announced new details of her framework for rebuilding a safe and strong Oregon, including new guidance for counties and businesses on the phased reopening process. The guidance is the product of a robust engagement process with stakeholders, doctors, health experts, business owners, and local officials to chart a path forward while keeping Oregonians healthy and safe.

“Today, thanks to millions of Oregonians following the strict physical distancing orders I put in place, I am happy to say these sacrifices have prevented as many as 70,000 COVID-19 infections, and 1,500 hospitalizations in Oregon,” said Brown said. “We are on track in meeting the goals that doctors and public health experts have laid out for us. And that means we now have the opportunity to begin rebuilding a safe and strong Oregon.”

By following the Governor's strict physical distancing guidelines over the past several weeks, Oregonians have successfully flattened the curve of COVID-19 cases. There are now fewer than 100 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state, and Oregon has established plans for increasing testing capacity, expanding contact tracing capability, and building reserves of personal protective equipment.

Brown emphasized that by taking steps gradually and carefully, and following science and data, Oregon can begin to reopen safely.

"But let me be very clear: these choices are not easy; as we reopen parts of our economy, we know and expect that there may be an uptick in new coronavirus cases," Brown said. "That’s why we have to be prepared in every single corner of the state, because as we’ve seen, an outbreak can occur anywhere."

On May 1, Governor Brown lifted her order delaying non-urgent medical procedures, with safeguards in place for health care workers and patients. On May 5, Governor Brown announced the limited reopening of some outdoor parks and recreation areas.

Next week, updated safety guidelines regarding transit, certain child care, summer school, and summer camps and youth programs will be issued. Each step of reopening is contingent on Oregonians following the safety guidelines for each sector.

Governor Brown’s new guidance on reopening calls for the widespread use of face coverings, maintaining physical distance of six feet between individuals as much as possible, and following good hygiene and disinfection practices.

Phase I Details

In addition, some counties will be eligible to begin the limited reopening of additional business sectors beginning as early as May 15 if they have demonstrated they have met all prerequisites for reopening. Oregon counties can begin submitting applications on Friday, May 8. Counties must:

  • Show a decline in COVID-19 or have fewer than 5 hospitalizations
  • Have sufficient COVID-19 testing and contact tracing capability
  • Establish plans for the isolation and quarantine of new cases
  • Have the hospital capacity to handle any surge in COVID-19 cases
  • Have enough personal protective equipment for health care workers

Counties that meet all of the above criteria will be eligible to enter Phase I of reopening on May 15, pending approval of their application by the Governor after recommendations from the Oregon Health Authority.

In Phase I, counties can begin the limited reopening of the following sectors under specific safety guidelines:

  • Restaurants and bars for sit-down service
  • Personal care and services businesses, including barbers and salons
  • In-person gatherings of up to 25 people

Counties must remain in Phase I for at least 21 days before becoming eligible to advance to Phase II. If counties begin to see significant increases in COVID-19 cases or community spread, the Oregon Health Authority will work with local public health officials to evaluate what actions should be taken. Significant growth in COVID-19 spread could necessitate a county moving back from Phase I to a stay-home status. More details on Phases II and III are forthcoming.

The Governor also announced that large gatherings such as conventions, festivals, and major concerts and live audience sporting events will need to be cancelled at least through September. Restarting events of this size will require a reliable treatment or prevention, like a vaccine, which is many months off. Further guidance on large events will be provided in the coming months.

See a video presentation explaining the phased reopening process at,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zSz5tb5SMw&feature=youtu.be

Follow new developments at thechroniclenewsonline.com.

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