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Deschutes, Jefferson, Umatilla Counties Advance To Reopening Phase 2

<p>There is currently no vaccine to prevent contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.</p>

There is currently no vaccine to prevent contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

UPDATE (3:43 p.m. PT) — Deschutes, Jefferson and Umatilla counties have been approved to move to Phase 2 of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's reopening plan.

County officials had submitted letters to the governor's office confirming that they can comply with state requirements to safely move to the next phase of the plan.

State and local health officials Thursday conducted an additional level of review of Deschutes, Jefferson and Umatilla county data to ensure they are tracing and isolating new coronavirus cases.

Clark County announced Friday it has been approved to move to Phase 2 of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start Washington plan. 

The change begins immediately and the county is now in Phase 2, said John Wiesman, state secretary of health. 

Businesses that can reopen in Washington’s Phase 2 plan include hair and nail salons, real estate, pet groomers and others. Retail stores can also reopen for in-store purchases and restaurants can resume dine-in services with restrictions on the number of diners. 

Phase 2 also allows small gatherings of no more than five people from outside of a household per week. Outdoor recreation, like camping, can also resume with no more than five people outside of a household.

Clark County can apply to move to Phase 3 after three weeks in Phase 2 if it meets state metrics for coronavirus cases numbers, hospital and testing capacity and other requirements.

Multnomah County Applies For Phase 1 Reopening

“We have moved thoughtfully and deliberately to this day so that the sacrifices our communities have made since March will not be lost,” Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said in a statement.  

In a letter to Brown, Kafoury said the county has met five of the state’s seven requirements for reopening.  

“As of this writing, the county has employed 63 contact tracing staff members, or 52% of the 122 total required,” Kafoury wrote. “We continue to make progress toward a fully staff contact tracing operation.” 

The county said in working toward fully staffing contact tracers, it is also working to meet the state’s requirement of making sure those employees are reflective of the county’s diversity and are able to work in needed languages.  

The county said 40% of its planned contact tracing and case investigation positions with bilingual skills are currently filled.  

Kafoury said although the county has already met the state’s requirement for providing adequate testing sites to underserved communities, the county will continue to expand testing sites going forward.

If approved for Phase 1, Multnomah County could begin limited reopening of bars and restaurants, gyms, hair salons and some other businesses, as well as gatherings of up to 25 people next week.

OHA reports nearly 100 new known coronavirus cases

The Oregon Health Authority Friday reported 4,570 presumptive and positive coronavirus cases in the state. That’s an increase of 96 known cases since Thursday.

Presumptive cases are people who have not tested positive for the virus but have symptoms and have had close contact with a confirmed case.

OHA reported two new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the state’s total deaths at 161.

Clark County’s total cases at more than 560

Clark County Thursday reported three new coronavirus cases, bringing the county’s total to 569. To date, 25 people have died from COVID-19 in Clark County. 

According to the most recently available data, Washington state has 22,729 confirmed coronavirus cases. The state has seen 1,138 coronavirus-related deaths.

26 Oregon counties approved for Phase 2 of reopening

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Thursday approved 26 counties to move to Phase 2 of her reopening plan as soon as Friday.

The following counties are approved to enter Phase 2 on the following dates:

June 5: Benton, Curry, Douglas, Grant, Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Linn, Morrow, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Wheeler.

June 6: Baker, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Gilliam, Harney, Josephine, Malheur, Sherman, Yamhill.

June 8: Tillamook.

Deschutes, Jefferson and Umatilla counties applied for Phase 2, but state health officials are continuing to review their applications. 

Six counties have not yet applied for Phase 2: Clackamas, Hood River, Lincoln, Marion, Polk and Washington. 

Multnomah County has not yet applied for Phase 1, but is expected to do so Friday.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

OPB Staff