PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Back in June, Oregon’s governor grouped Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties together to be evaluated as one region in terms of further reopening plans but one of those counties is seeing a disproportionate rise in case numbers.
As of Thursday, Multnomah County was on the state watch list to potentially face further restrictions. As a result, Clackamas and Washington counties may also be subjected to rollbacks.
Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard said they no longer want to be tied to the other two counties. He told KOIN 6 News he was surprised when his county was initially tied together with Multnomah and Washington counties and wants a call from Gov. Kate Brown if she’s considering rolling back the tri-county area.
“We would like to be uncoupled, untethered with Multnomah and Washington counties,” Bernard said. “I think we’re doing a great job in Clackamas County and not htat we’re ready to move to Phase 2 but I’m worried that should things get worse in those counties there might be a rush to pull us all back.”
The Washington County chair said they also don’t want to roll back but said working together is crucial and pointed out how often people travel between the tri-counties every day.
Clackamas County leaders said 60-70% of their residents commute out of the county for work. Brown’s office said Thursday that it’s for that reason that Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties will continue to be evaluated as one region.
A spokesperson for Brown’s office said if county leaders want to see businesses stay open, they need to be doing everything they can to make sure people are wearing masks, physical distancing and following all health guidelines.