Businesses, entertainment venues and churches in Oregon’s “Lower Risk” counties can provide a special seating area for people vaccinated against COVID-19, according to an announcement from Gov. Kate Brown’s office Monday.
The change will allow those institutions to offer higher density seating without capacity restrictions. The change was primarily aimed at allowing more fans inside the arena for Portland Trail Blazers’ playoff games. But the new rule applies to any such venue in Oregon’s Lower Risk counties. There are currently five such counties, including Lincoln, Benton and Deschutes. Multnomah County is expected to receive the designation this week.
According to the governor's announcement, people wanting to sit in those sections must provide proof of vaccination status. The venues may choose to require people in those sections to wear face masks. Children, including those who are not old enough to receive a vaccine, will be permitted in those areas if they are wearing a mask and sitting with a parent or guardian.
Counties qualify for Lower Risk status when at least 65 percent of people age 16 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. As of Monday, Lane County was just over 61 percent.