Oregon businesses navigate own paths to reopening


Gov. Kate Brown lifted all state-mandated pandemic restrictions on June 30

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Businesses across Oregon are celebrating the end of pandemic mandates but some are still taking precautions as they navigate the winding road to normality.

Governor Kate Brown dropped all statewide COVID restrictions on Wednesday. More than 2 million adults in the state have been vaccinated, falling just shy of the 70% vaccination threshold.

Last week, Brown signed a “recovery-focused executive order” that lifts all remaining health and safety restrictions issued for the pandemic once the state reached the threshold or on June 30 — whichever came first.

A 24 Hour Fitness in Portland is no longer checking vaccination cards or requiring masks. The gym also reopened its sauna and cardio machines since social distancing is no longer required. But 24 Hour Fitness still isn’t open 24 hours a day. The company said it will continue expanding its hours as demand increases.

“We’ve had a lot of changes, even having the outdoor gym for a while. It’s definitely been hard on the business and the members, you know, not having access to the things they really need to have access to,” said General Manager Will Brauckmiller. “So really happy to be back open and be able to offer that to all of them again.”

Montelupo Italian Market on NE 28th and Flanders is taking a slower approach to a full reopening.

“We’re very excited and a little tentative as well so we interviewed our entire staff and they all want to wear their masks still,” said co-owner Adam Berger.

The restaurant currently has a large outdoor dining space and plans to reopen its bar and an indoor dining space by the end of July. Montelupo opened just before the pandemic hit. To adapt, the owners added a market where people can find desserts and handmade pasta to take home, as well as items imported from Italy. Berger said they never would have opened the market before the pandemic but they have come to love it and plan to keep it going. Customers are still required to wear masks for now.

Both the restaurant and the gym are trying to hire additional staff but say they’ve had a hard time finding people.

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