On Thursday, Governor Kate Brown announced that 26 of Oregon’s 36 counties will be entering Phase 2 of the pandemic restrictions over the next few days.
Friday, June 5: Benton, Curry, Douglas, Grant, Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Linn, Morrow, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Wheeler.,
Saturday, June 6: Baker, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Gilliam, Harney, Josephine, Malheur, Sherman and Yamhill
Jefferson, Deschutes and Umatilla counties applied for Phase 2 but their applications are still under review by state health officials.
Six counties, including Hood River, have not yet applied for Phase 2, and Multnomah County was expected to apply for Phase 1 Friday, June 5.
Monday, June 8: Tillamook.
So what’s involved with Phase 2?
It allows indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings with up to 100 people. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to stay open until midnight, instead of the 10 pm curfew under Phase 1.
Larger venues, such as movie theaters and churches, may have have as many as 250 people, if they are large enough to maintain social distancing for that number.
Employees in indoor workspaces may being a limited return to indoor workspaces, but health officials still strongly recommend working from home if possible.
Special guidelines have been issued for specific enterprises such as equipment sharing procedures for youth sports, and what the state calls “low-contact sports” like tennis and pickle ball may return to play
Similar guidelines have been set for indoor activities such as bowling, pool and arcades, as well as museums and zoos.
Even though counties are moving into Phase 2, not all of the institutions in the county will move with them. At Wednesday’s county commissioner meeting, Lynette Black of the Extension Office, said that due to their connection with Oregon State, they were considered an educational institution, which haven’t even moved into Phase 1 yet.
State officials announced that even if there is an outbreak, a county won’t be moved back to Phase 1; instead, the state will send additional resources.
And we might as well get used to the new level of relaxation, because we’re likely to be here a while. Moving to Phase 3 won’t be possible until a reliable treatment or prevention is available, and that could be a couple of years away.
To see what Counties are approved and find out more about Phase 2 rules, click here.