Deschutes and Crook Counties Will Implement Phase I Reopening on May 15th.

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Governor Kate Brown announced today that Deschutes and Crook counties have met the Phase I reopening guidelines and this will allow reopening of some businesses starting May 15th. Jefferson county did not meet the guidelines and will be evaluated on a weekly basis until opening is approved. You can find official information at the links below.

Gatherings of up to 25 people are now allowed as long as social distancing is practiced; restaurants and bars can open for sit-down service as long as certain criteria are met; and personal service providers such as hairstylists and massage therapists can resume practice as long as they carefully screen clients prior to the service. Requirements for the reopening of gyms was also released following the press briefing.

Summer youth programs will be allowed to take place on a limited basis, Gov. Brown said, with plans being developed to open schools across the state in the fall.

Under the Phase 1 directives, details about what businesses can and cannot do are available in the website created by Gov. Brown’s office that offers COVID-19 information and resources for Oregonians State Of Oregon COVID-19 Resource Website.  The website outlines specifics about how restaurants and bars can operate, details about how personal service providers are to conduct business and how shopping centers and malls should function. The website also offers guidance for employers, retail stores and childcare facilities, as well as links to multiple other resources. For specific information about businesses in Deschutes County, visit the Deschutes County Planning For Phase I Reopening Website.

County Commissioner Phil Henderson said that while Deschutes County allows overnight rentals, “We are not currently encouraging travel from outside areas. But we need to move toward that. Tourism is part of our economy. Business owners must set the example and show people what they are doing to meet the guidelines.” He added, “As big events get cancelled, it’s like it takes away a piece of us. But the way we can get through this is to try new things. We can work through this if we keep moving forward.”

So you can now get a haircut, work out and enjoy a meal out with modifications on how to do these activities safely. It will help things operate smoother for everyone if we all educate ourselves on the phase I guidelines. Please

We are monitoring discussions the City of Bend is considering altering some traffic patterns in downtown to allow restaurants the ability to use more outdoor space for customer capacity.

We’ll keep you posted on these and other developments as they happen. You can hear daily updates on the BYB Podcast in the COVID 19 Update episodes with RL Garrigus.