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Multnomah County Could Begin Reopening As Soon As June 12

Multnomah County officials say they’ve applied to reopen on June 12; it could be rejected, however

The skyline of Portland with Mt. Hood in the background
Josemaria Toscano/Shutterstock
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

Portland is eyeing a mid-June reopening date, according to Multnomah County officials. Late last month, county chair Deborah Kafoury announced that the county will apply to reopen on June 5, hoping to begin the phase-one reopening process on June 12. Today, OPB reports that the county has, in fact, filed the application to reopen later this month. That stage of reopening would include restaurants and bars in a limited capacity.

For a county to reopen, it needs to meet a certain number of criteria: a 14-day decline in hospital visits, an ability to test 30 people per 10,000 per week, and 15 contact tracers per 100,000 people (Contact tracers people track the path of an outbreak by contacting people exposed), among other things. The county, which covers much of the Portland area, officially filed its application, saying it currently meets 5 of the 7 requirements for reopening, attempting to hire more contact tracers. According to the county dashboard, it only has about 52 percent of the contact tracers it needs, but the governor has granted phase one reopening privileges to counties below that threshold in the past. The Oregon Health Authority also recently announced a new wave of cases in Multnomah County. Multnomah County is the only Oregon county that has yet to enter phase-one reopening.

Once the county enters phase-one reopening, restaurants and bars can serve onsite diners, as long as they follow certain policies — tables need to sit six feet apart, staff have to wear face coverings, and restaurants need to stop serving at 10 p.m. After 21 days, the state can approve counties to begin phase two reopening, which allows restaurants to close at midnight.

Updated June 5, 2020, 2:51 p.m.
This story was updated to show that the county has filed its application to reopen.

Multnomah County Applies For Phase 1 Reopening [OPB]
Multnomah County sets goal of Phase 1 reopening on June 12 [KGW]
Multnomah County targets June 12 for Phase 1 reopening of coronavirus stay-home order [O]
Multnomah County Seeks a June 12 Reopening, Even as a COVID Outbreak Hits a Portland-Area Business [WWeek]
Clackamas County Restaurants and Bars Can Reopen to Diners Tomorrow [EPDX]