Reopening Oregon

Oregonians have successfully flattened the curve enough to have most counties move into phase one of the Governor’s plan to reopen the state. Last week in a press conference, Governor Brown announced that all counties would be able to apply to reopen, and approval would depend on whether or not they were prepared to meet social distance, testing, contact tracing,  and hospital capacity requirements to execute a safe reopening.

In a press conference on Thursday, Governor Brown announced that 28 counties met the requirements and would be able to open today, May 15. By the end of the day, that number had increased to 31 counties.

That means in these counties, some nonessential businesses like restaurants, bars, gyms and salons in those counties can open as long as social distancing and protective measures are followed. Gatherings can also increase to 25 people.

Two counties, Marion and Polk, applied to reopen but did not meet the Governor’s criteria. Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties have not yet applied. In response to a question about whether people from closed counties can travel to counties that are now open, OHA Director Pat Allen said, “Reopening is a team sport. It is not going to work if some people follow the rules and others don’t. We need everyone to do their part.”

In addition to reopening nearly all of Oregon’s counties, the Governor issued new guidelines for all counties, even those who have not been approved to enter phase one. Those guidelines include:

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and credit unions, and gas stations are all open.
  • Restaurants are open for take-out service only.
  • Stand alone retail operations are open provided they meet required safety and physical distancing guidelines. Indoor and outdoor malls are closed.
  • Local outdoor recreation activities are open, including many state parks.
  • Non-emergency medical care, dentist offices and veterinary care are open and operating, provided they meet required safety guidelines.
  • Local cultural, civic and faith gatherings are allowed for up to 25 people provided physical distancing can be in place.
  • Local social gatherings over 10 people are prohibited and those under 10 people must use physical distancing.
  • Personal care services such as salons and barbers, as well as gyms, are closed.
  • Child care is open under certain restrictions, with priority placements for children of health care workers, first responders, and frontline workers.
  • Public transit is open under certain restrictions, and must be sanitized often and enforce 3 feet of space between passengers
  • Summer school and camps

For more information about the reopening, as well as guidelines for businesses in open counties, go to