County Moved to Less Restrictive Phase of Covid Reopening

Local bars, restaurants, gyms, indoor entertainment venues and other businesses may resume limited indoor services this Friday after Governor Kate Brown announced Clackamas County qualified to move down to a less restrictive tier of coronavirus prevention protocols.

Along with 10 other counties including Multnomah and Washington, Clackamas is being downgraded from “extreme risk” to the “high risk” tier of the state’s latest framework for business reopening.

The framework uses four different risk levels for counties based on the number of new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents — extreme, high, moderate and lower — and assigns health and safety measures for each level.

So far, only eight of Oregon’s 36 counties have met the threshold for the lowest risk of spread. Clackamas, along with the rest of the Portland metro area, has been considered “extreme risk” since the state rolled out the new framework in November.

Under the “high risk” level, eating and drinking establishments may allow indoor dining (though takeout is still “highly recommended”), with capacity not to exceed 25% maximum occupancy or 50 people, whichever is smaller.

The capacity for outdoor dining is increased to 75 people maximum. In either case, parties are limited to six people per table and establishments must close by 11 p.m.

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Likewise, indoor fitness centers and entertainment venues such as theaters and museums may reopen at 25% occupancy or 50 people (staff included), whichever is smaller.

Faith institutions may allow 25% capacity or 150 people, whichever is smaller. Up to 200 are permitted for outdoor services.

County risk levels are reassessed and reassigned every two weeks, meaning Clackamas County’s placement at “high risk” will be effective at least through Feb. 25.

“Thanks to Oregonians who have stepped up and made smart choices, we have made incredible progress in stopping the spread of Covid-19 and saving lives in Oregon,” said Governor Brown. “This is welcome news, as we’ll start to see more businesses open up and Oregonians being able to get out a bit more.”

Brown also urged Oregonians to remain vigilant as newer and more virulent strains of Covid-19 continue to spread across the globe.

“This means continuing to wear masks, keep our physical distance, and avoid indoor gatherings,” she said. “If we want to keep businesses open, reopen schools for in-person instruction, and stay safe, we must keep up our guard.”

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