SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Multnomah County officials submitted reopening framework to Gov. Kate Brown’s office Friday in the hope of beginning phase 1 of the state’s plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions.
If approved, restaurants in Multnomah County on June 12 could once again offer dine-in service, gyms could open, personal services would be available by appointment and the gathering size would increase from 10 people to 25.
Multnomah, which is state’s most populous county, is the only county in Oregon that has not yet entered phase 1.
“We have moved thoughtfully and deliberately to this day so that the sacrifices our communities have made since March will not be lost,” said Multnomah County Commission Chair Deborah Kafoury.
The county has taken a slower and more deliberative approach to reopening during the pandemic due to size, density, diversity and health care capacity.
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.
As of Friday, at least 161 people across Oregon have died from the coronavirus and more than 4,570 in the state have tested positive for the disease.
While Multnomah is working to enter the first phase 29 other counties have been approved to begin phase 2, some starting today.
Phase 2 allows for pools, movie theaters, zoos and museums to open, it loosens restaurant restrictions, allows for recreational sports and increases the indoor gathering size to 50 and the outdoor gathering size to 100.
Sara Cline is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues