Portfolio > Past Life

Lane, Linn, and Douglas join counties applying to reopen

EUGENE, Ore. -- Lane County is among the Oregon counties that have submitted applications to reopen for phase one by May 15.

Gov. Kate Brown will weigh multiple factors in deciding which counties will be allowed to start the process.

In their applications, county leaders need to show how they believe they have met the state's seven prerequisites for phase one. Those requirements include a decline in positive cases, sufficient personal protective equipment, and a testing rate of 30 people per 10,000 every week.

In Lane County's submission, they point out there have been no confirmed hospitalized cases in the county since April 24.

Under phase one, restaurants and bars can open up for sit-down services with restrictions. So can barbers and hair salons. Gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed.

Lane County Public Health spokesman Jason Davis said in order for Lane County to reopen and maintain that status, everyone needs to do their part. He said that includes simple things like wearing a mask when people can't ensure social distancing.

"While our seven different benchmarks are ready, what we need to see and what we hope to see is that community involvement in this whole process," Davis said.

Linn County also submitted its application. Commissioner Will Tucker said at first they thought they needed to submit a lengthy report in order to be considered.

"They wanted a couple of pages," Tucker said. "They did not want the 30 page document I was planning on submitting, that's not what they wanted. So that went into the trash, and we restarted today."

Leaders in Coos County said they also planned to submit their application by the end of Friday. Leaders in Douglas County said they submitted their application on Thursday.

Benton County plans to apply for reopening by May 15. Emergency Manager Bryan Lee said when the county is waiting for approval, they'll be connecting businesses with resources to help them with a timely and safe reopening.

Tucker said he expects to hear back from the state by Monday or Tuesday. He said the state could ask them for more information or clarification before they get approved.