Gradual reopening of counties slows as Gov. Brown ‘presses pause’

June 15 press conference announces a slowing of the state’s reopening process

June 17, 2020 — As of June 16, Lane County reported 88 positive test results for individuals infected with the novel coronavirus COVID-19, with 3 of those individuals dying from the disease. Of those, 79 individuals have recovered and 8 of those with confirmed cases are resting at home. The relatively small number of cases reported in Lane County are the results of 2,370 COVID-19 tests conducted last week, which brings the total number of tests given to 12,051 since the beginning of February. 

Lane County is currently in Phase II of the state’s reopening plan, with any future changes delayed by at least one week and potentially longer. While the county has seen a very small increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 10 days, other counties in the state have reported troubling increases in infections increases.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown held a press conference on Monday to announce a slowing of the reopening process, which has most counties in the midst of Phase II reopening protocols.

“The noticeable increase in COVID-19 infections in Oregon over the past week is cause for concern. In order to ensure that the virus is not spreading too quickly, I am putting all county applications for further reopening on hold for seven days. This is essentially a statewide ‘yellow light.’ It is time to press pause for one week before any further reopening,” Brown said. 

According to the governor, this one-week pause will give public health officials time to assess what factors are driving the spread of the virus and determine if they need to adjust the state’s approach to reopening. 

“I will work with doctors and public health experts to determine whether to lift this pause or extend it or make other adjustments,” Brown stated.

 The increasing number of cases Brown referred to in the governor’s press conference included reports from Multnomah, Hood River, Marion and Polk County, all of which show increases, some as high as 40 percent, over the previous week. 

Lane County currently allows outdoor recreation, retail stores, gyms, bars and restaurants for dine-in services, and personal-care businesses such as salons and barbershops with the following limitations:

  • Gathering limits of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
  • Indoor and outdoor venues, including theaters and churches, with six feet of physical distancing and other measures in place, can reach a COVID-19 occupancy limit of up to 250.
  • Offices can begin reopening and employees can return to workplaces with physical distancing and other measures in place, though remote work is still strongly recommended whenever possible.
  • Increased travel is allowed throughout Oregon, though staying local is still recommended to prevent overloading county health systems.
  • Restaurant and bar curfews are extended to midnight where applicable.
  • Pools and sports courts are allowed to reopen under new guidance.
  • Indoor and outdoor activities such as bowling, batting cages and mini golf are allowed to reopen under new guidance.
  • Recreational sports can resume in a limited form, under strict physical distancing guidance.

The City of Florence is strictly following the guidance provided by State and Lane County Health authorities and are implementing all procedures put in place at the county level.

Lane County has a website page that is completely dedicated to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This page includes specific recommendations for many types of businesses and workplaces recommending the best practices to be utilized, for their individual circumstances at this time. 

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