PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Businesses within Oregon counties currently in the state’s lower risk category for COVID-19 will now have the option for vaccinated sections, Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday.

Monday’s announcement from Brown on the new protocols was the result of a “partnership” between her office, the Oregon Health Authority and the Portland Trail Blazers, according to a press release.

“When fans left the Moda Center last March, it was one of the first signs this pandemic was about to change our lives in ways we hadn’t previously imagined,” Brown said in a statement. “Vaccines are the key to our return to normal life.”

OHA said the health agency’s guidance for Lower Risk counties will see the following changes for businesses, venues and faith institutions:

  • Vaccinated sections with no physical distancing nor capacity limits will be allowed for fully vaccinated individuals ages 16 and up if the person can provide verification of their vaccination status.
  • However, businesses, venues and faith institutions may require additional protocols in vaccinated sections, including wearing a mask.
  • Children up to the age of 15 wearing a face covering will be permitted in vaccinated sections if they’re will a parent or guardian who is fully vaccinated.
  • Unvaccinated sections still need to observe current OHA guidances, including wearing masks, keeping physical distance and adhering to capacity limits.

Five Oregon counties are currently in the state’s Lower Risk category: Washington, Lincoln, Hood River, Deschutes and Benton. Multnomah County submitted plans to reopen last week.

The Trail Blazers announced a new vaccinated section at the Moda Center earlier on Monday as the Western Conference first-round series playoffs are expected to return to Portland, making the location the first indoor sports venue in Oregon to have a vaccinated section since reopening amid the pandemic.

On Friday, Brown announced the state will have a lottery for those who have been vaccinated, with a jackpot of $1 million and $10,000 prize for one resident in each Oregon county.

KOIN 6 News will have more on this story. Check back for updates.