PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — New rules for indoor facilities took effect on Friday in Oregon counties under the extreme risk category.
Gov. Kate Brown originally said only six people would be allowed in any facility larger than 500 square feet but the Oregon Health Authority tweaked that guidance on Friday. Facilities 500 square feet or larger can now have up to four groups with six people per group, as long as groups are kept in separate enclosed locations within the building.
This means the total capacity is 24 people, not including the number of employees needed to run the business. Mask wearing and rigorous cleaning protocols are still in place. Facilities with less than 500 square feet are allowed to have one person plus one employee.
The new rules allow places such as gyms and theaters to slowly reopen. The only exception is indoor dining.
Cascade Athletic Club General Manager Greg Eisenzimmer said he’s happy the state changed the guidelines but still feels like they’re too restrictive.
“So my facility is 120,000 square feet, with six people per building which was the original guidance a couple days ago, that’s 20,000 square feet per person,” said Eisenzimmer. “To put that in context, a tennis court’s about 7,000 or 8,000 square feet so basically one person per three tennis courts was what the original guidance was at.”
Now that they can have more than six people inside, Cascade Athletic Clubs plan to open Monday with limited capacity. Eisenzimmer said employees and members are excited to come back.
Sector Guidance — Indoor Recreation and Indoor Fitness Establishments
Meanwhile, Brown’s office also announced updates to county risk levels, with 25 state counties currently under “extreme risk.” Two counties — Douglas and Lincoln — are at high risk, while Grant is at moderate risk. Eight counties are currently at lower risk: Curry, Gilliam, Harney, Lake, Sherman, Tillamook, Wallowa and Wheeler.