PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County is set to reopen Friday — the last Oregon county to enter Phase One after being shut down to stop the spread of COVID-19.
This means restaurants, bars, salons and gyms can reopen as long as they limit the number of people inside and maintain physical distancing requirements. Friday’s opening comes despite a rise in cases seen in Multnomah County.
Earlier this week, Governor Kate Brown announced that starting on Wednesday, people have to wear masks when going into indoor public spaces in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Hood River, Marion, Polk, and Lincoln counties. Face coverings are not required while eating at restaurants.
She said people will not face arrest for not wearing a face covering in public but strongly encouraged residents to comply with the requirement. Children under 12 are exempt as well as those with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing them.
Brown placed a connection between Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties for any future decisions on reopening.
The tri-county region, Brown said, “will remain in Phase 1 for at least 21 days after June 19 before the three counties together will become eligible for Phase 2. I know this impacts communities and businesses in Clackamas and Washington counties but, as we reopen our state, we must recognize how interconnected the metro area is.”
Meanwhile, in Clackamas County, leaders have sent a letter to Governor Brown asking to be approved for Phase Two. Clackamas County entered Phase One in late May.