Businesses In Phase One Counties Prepare To Re-Open

May 14, 2020

The news that most Oregon counties are able to enter Phase One of the coronavirus re-opening plan means many businesses in those areas are scrambling to open their doors again.

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While some types of businesses were able to stay open even during Governor Kate Brown’s stay-at-home order, others have been shuttered since mid-March. Now that the state has approved a first round of loosening the restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19, more places will be able to serve customers.

That includes Blush Salon in Albany, where owner Tiffany Sewell said her phone lit up when the news came of Linn County getting approved to re-open. “It’s been basically non-stop since we found out that there was a chance that Linn County would be entered into phase one,” she said.

Sewell said she’s ready to get back to work. “I feel confident and comfortable, and my clients apparently feel confident and comfortable as they continue to text and call,” she said.

While businesses in the approved counties can re-open as soon as Friday, Sewell said Blush Salon will re-open on Saturday, after a deep clean on Friday. She said in keeping with the new guidelines, stylists will wear face coverings and customers will be spaced at least six feet apart.

Blush Salon closed March 23 when Gov. Brown issued an executive order that closed some types of businesses across the state. Counties were told last week that they could apply to allow certain businesses, including barber shops, salons, and dine-in restaurants to re-open starting May 15.

Some other types of businesses must remain closed, such as move theaters. Schools will also remain closed through at least the end of the academic year.

Not every county has been approved for Phase One, and three Portland-area counties have not yet applied. The governor's office is tracking each county's status on its website. In all, 31 out of Oregon's 36 counties have been approved for Phase One.