SALEM, Ore. — Oregon’s phase 2 coronavirus reopening plan will begin as early as Friday and includes loosening current restaurant restrictions, opening pools and expanding outdoor gatherings to 100 people.
Gov. Kate Brown planned a news conference late Wednesday morning with state health leaders to discuss the next steps ease restrictions from her stay-at-home directives.
Thus far, 20 counties in Oregon are under review by the governor’s office to enter phase 2, including Deschutes, Jackson and Lane, according to the state’s reopening dashboard. Currently, gathering limits are set at 25 people. Under phase 2, gatherings will be increased to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, said Gina Zejdlik, Brown’s deputy chief of staff.
“We are also opening up more sectors in a limited way, like movie theaters and churches can open and expand their occupancy as long as they are in strict compliance with physical distancing, sanitation and occupancy limitation,” Zejdlik said.
Restaurants, which are currently required to close at 10 p.m., will be allowed to stay open until midnight.
Zejdlik said the governor’s office is still taking the approach of continuing to limit returning to work and strongly recommends that people continue to work remotely if possible.
In order to enter phase 2, counties must meet Oregon’s safety and preparedness prerequisites for reopening.
All counties are currently in phase 1 except for Multnomah County, which has yet to apply and is taking a more deliberative approach because of its size, density and diversity.
As of Tuesday, at least 157 people in Oregon have died from the coronavirus and more than 4,300 in the state have tested positive for the disease.
For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.