By Kris McDowell

In mid-May the State of Oregon approved the applications submitted by 31 of Oregon’s 36 counties to enter Phase 1 of reopening.

Metro area counties Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas did not initially apply for reopening. Polk and Marion counties (home to Oregon’s capital, Salem) applied, but were not approved.

By the end of May, Polk and Marion had reapplied and were approved. Clackamas and Washington applied and been approved to enter Phase 1 as well. That now leaves only Multnomah, the state’s most populous county, to finish preparations and apply.

In the approved counties, restaurants, bars and personal care service businesses can reopen as long as businesses adhere to these new rules.

Restaurants and bars must:

Ensure tables are spaced at least six feet apart so that at least six feet between parties is maintained, including when customers approach or leave tables

Require all employees to wear cloth or disposable face coverings (provided by the employer)

End all on-site consumption of food and drinks by 10 pm

Personal care services (salons, barber shops, massage, etc.) must:

Make appointments with pre-appointment health check

Maintain a customer log

Maintain six feet physical distancing between clients

Remove all magazines, newspapers, snacks and beverages from waiting areas

Require face coverings by employees and clients (depending on the services provided)

Gyms/fitness centers must:

Limit the maximum number of customers accordingly

Enforce physical distancing and sanitation

In addition, local gatherings are limited to 25 people with no traveling.

After 21 days in Phase 1, counties that continue to meet the prerequisites may be able to enter Phase 2. Specifics are still being worked out and will be based on data collected in Phase 1.

Regardless of county, people are reminded to:

Stay close to home, but get outside

Protect your health and the health of those around you by wearing a face covering

Maintain at least six feet distance from others

Remember good hand hygiene