UPDATE (5:02 p.m. PT) — Clark County applied Friday for permission from Washington state health officials to move into Phase 2 of the reopening framework intended to slowly relax rules imposed to battle the coronavirus pandemic. To be approved, Clark County has to hit certain benchmarks regarding the readiness of its health care systems, testing and its ability to protect vulnerable populations.
If Clark County is approved, residents could meet with up to five people outside of their immediate households and more business activity could occur — including limited in-store retail, new construction and restaurants could open their dining areas at half-capacity. County officials are emphasizing that this only an application, and residents should continue following current restrictions, which allow only “essential’ businesses to be open.
“Clark County is not yet approved for Phase 2 and does not have an anticipated start date for the next phase,” county officials said in a statement Friday afternoon.
Washington has approved Phase 2 applications for 14 counties. Earlier this week, Gov. Jay Inslee announced new criteria, expanding eligibility for areas with 10 counties with larger populations, including Clark County.
Clackamas County approved for Phase 1 reopening
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday that Clackamas County can enter Phase 1 of reopening Saturday.
Clackamas County submitted its application for reopening to the governor’s office May 19, showing it has met all of Brown’s prerequisites.
Starting Saturday, certain businesses in Clackamas County — including restaurants, bars, hair salons, gyms and malls — can begin reopening while following public health guidelines.
“Thank you, Clackamas County,” county board of commissioners chair Jim Bernard said in a statement. “Without your incredible efforts in ‘flattening the curve,’ we would not have been able to move into Phase 1.”
Bernard advised Clackamas County residents and visitors to continue following health guidelines like washing hands and wearing masks in public to prevent major outbreaks of COVID-19 as the county reopens.
Oregon at nearly 3,900 known coronavirus cases
The Oregon Health Authority Friday reported the state’s total number of known coronavirus cases at 3,864.
That number includes positive tests and presumptive cases. Presumptive cases are people who have not tested positive but have coronavirus symptoms and have come into close contact with a positive case.
The OHA also totaled the state’s coronavirus-related deaths at 147, after listing two new deaths.