PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon state officials lifted some restrictions Friday for a number of businesses that were in a freeze due to the number of COVID-19 cases. 

Places like gyms and theatres can now have a capacity of six people, with social distancing requirements in place. 

Additionally, for extreme risk counties, indoor entertainment establishments are required to: 

  • For establishments 500 square feet or larger: Limit capacity to four (4) separate groups, up to six (6) people in each group. 
  • Each group participating in indoor entertainment activities must be in a separate enclosed space. 
  • Ensure customers from different groups do not use areas at the same time, including but not limited to restrooms. 
  • Households must maintain six (6) feet of physical distancing from other households. 

All guidance can be found online here.

KOIN 6 News spoke to a gym owner who said classes will start Monday. He said he’s modeling the reopening on how they were operating during the summer of 2020. 

“There is a reasonable amount of concern, of course, and there is also trust in us that we ran a very safe program last summer and fall when gyms were allowed to open,” said Tony Gracia, co-owner and co-founder of Industrial Strength in North Portland. 

Gracia said the workout at his gym are tough, but the cleaning regimen will be tougher.

Gracia said everyone will be required to wear masks and everyone must wash their hands when they enter the building. Workouts will be open by appointment only based on their space. 

KOIN 6 News also spoke to the owner of the Clinton Street Theater, Lani Jo Leigh, who said it doesn’t make sense to screen movies right now for an audience of only six people. At $10 a ticket, it wouldn’t cover the cost owed to the movie distributor to book the film. She said she’ll have to get creative under the new guidelines. 

“What I’m thinking of doing is having private rentals. I’m thinking more along the lines of having performers use the space, since we have a bit stage. So, a band could come and do some live streaming and I could charge an hourly rate,” Leigh said.  

Leigh said it’s been tough to get through the pandemic as a business owner. She said she does feel Gov. Kate Brown has done a good job keeping everyone safe, comparatively speaking. 

“I feel we should just knuckle down, keep our heads down, and stick it out for another few months. If we do that, I feel like I’ll be able to open up more fully,” Leigh said.

Gracia said he hopes this opportunity to open will be a chance to show the governor she can allow a greater occupancy in businesses eventually.

Leigh is hopeful the theater will be able to reopen more fully by the end of the second quarter.