Washington County Enters Phase 1 of Reopening

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Industry Restaurant on Monday, June 1, reopening day.

Welcome to Phase 1, Tualatin.

After more than two months of take-out-only restaurants, home haircuts and shuttered gyms, things are getting back to normal.

Sort of.

The state approved Washington County’s application to enter into the first stage of reopening on May 28. And the county entered Phase 1 on the first day of June – the second-to-last of Oregon’s 36 counties to make the jump (Multnomah County hadn’t applied as of May 30, but officials there are aiming to reopen on June 12, according to reports.)

The reopening process statewide started on May 15, when retail stores were permitted to open; non-emergency medical care could resume; and state parks and other outdoor recreation opened, among other things, as long as distancing and other safety guidelines were followed.

To get to Phase 1, Washington County had to demonstrate declining COVID-19 cases, have a minimum testing regimen, implement a contact tracing system and have quarantine facilities, enough healthcare capacity and sufficient personal protective equipment.

So what is Phase 1 all about?

Restaurants

Tualatin Claim Jumper.

Restaurants, bars, breweries, brewpubs, wineries, tasting rooms and distilleries can all open for business as long as they are able to meet distancing requirements of 6 feet between tables and allow no more than 10 people in a party. Employees must wear face coverings, and on-site service must end by 10 p.m. Video poker, as long as distancing is enforced, is allowed.

Personal services

This category of businesses, which includes everything from barbershops and beauty salons to tanning salons and tattoo parlors, is permitted to reopen during Phase 1. They are required to ask clients whether they have had COVID-19 symptoms before an appointment and keep a log of customers. Face coverings are required. Social distancing between clients must be maintained, and shops must remove magazines, newspapers and refreshments from waiting rooms.

Gyms

To comply with Phase 1 requirements, gyms must limit how many people are in the facility, maintain social distancing and sanitize equipment. Contact sports and activities, such as basketball and taekwondo, are prohibited.

Social gatherings?

Parties and other gatherings are allowed during Phase 1, but they must be limited to 25 or fewer people who are from the area – so no traveling to get to a gathering. Also, attendees must stay at least six feet away from each other.

What about Phase 2?

After 21 days in Phase 1, according to draft guidelines from the state, counties can enter Phase 2 if all of the Phase 1 requirements are still being met. Counties must also show that they are tracing 95 percent of new COVID-19 cases within 24 hours and at least 75 percent of positive cases can be traced to an existing positive case. Also, there must not be a significant increase in positive cases.

Under the Phase 2 draft guidelines, gatherings of up to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors would be allowed, as would increased travel. Limited return to work will be permitted, but remote working is still strongly encouraged. Venues such as churches, movie theaters and family fun centers could reopen with distancing and sanitation. Youth sports could resume with distancing. The curfew for onsite service at restaurants would be extended to midnight.