26 Oregon counties approved to start Phase 2 of reopening


29 counties applied to reopen under Oregon's Phase 2 guidelines

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gov. Kate Brown has given the green light to 26 Oregon counties to start the next phase of reopening starting Friday.

Counties approved for Phase 2 of reopening will have a staggered start of June 5, June 6 and June 8 under Brown’s current framework.

When announcing which counties were approved for reopening, Brown thanked Oregonians in a statement for making sacrifices to save others’ lives but also warned about the risks that may come with reopening the state.

“Any reopening comes with risk. That’s just a fact of life right now. We need to reduce the risk that comes with reopening,” the governor said.

Counties approved to start Phase 2 on Friday, June 5:

• Benton
• Curry
• Douglas
• Grant
• Jackson
• Klamath
• Lake
• Lane
• Linn
• Morrow
• Union
• Wallowa
• Wasco
• Wheeler

Counties approved to start Phase 2 on Saturday, June 6:

• Baker
• Clatsop
• Columbia
• Coos
• Crook
• Gilliam
• Harney
• Josephine
• Malheur
• Sherman
• Yamhill

County approved to start Phase 2 on Monday, June 8:

• Tillamook

Three counties — Deschutes, Jefferson and Umatilla — applied to reopen for Phase 2, but are still being reviewed by state health officials.

Officials in Clackamas, Hood River, Lincoln, Marion, Polk and Washington counties have not yet applied for reopening. Marion, Washington and Clackamas counties have the second, third and fourth-highest number of virus outbreak cases in the state.

In a statement, Clackamas Board of County Commissioners said the county isn’t meeting several benchmarks, including fewer new cases and contact tracing requirements.

“We have not seen the full impact of Phase 1 reopening,” Dr. Sarah Present, Clackamas County Public Health Officer, said in a statement. “But we are seeing an expected increase in cases. I can’t confirm our curve is still fully flattened, it is currently wavy. We have work to do as a community before we are ready to move to Phase 2.”

Meanwhile, Multnomah County has not yet applied for Phase 1 reopening. Multnomah County remains the county with the highest number of total positive cases and deaths related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Under Brown’s current framework for reopening, counties will have to follow new guidelines for gatherings, venues, workplaces and travel, along with expanded guidelines for bars and restaurants, recreational sports and more.

Oregon has been slowly reopening since Brown enacted her executive “Stay Home” order in March.

As of Thursday, 159 Oregonians have died from the novel coronavirus, while more than 4,400 have tested positive for it. More than 100,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 since February.

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