County Applies for Phase 2 of Reopening

PRESS RELEASE – 5/29/2020

Today, Baker County submitted an application to the State of Oregon for entering Phase 2 of Reopening. The County requests beginning Phase 2 on June 6, 21 days after Baker County moved into Phase 1.

The Governor’s office released the criteria for counties to enter into Phase 2 yesterday evening. In order to be approved, counties must demonstrate that they continue to meet the criteria previously required to enter Phase 1, as well as meet three new criteria for contact tracing and stable or downward trends for numbers of positive cases. Baker County’s single positive case result occurred 24 days ago.

Even while counties begin making applications to enter the next phase, businesses, organizations and event organizers are anxiously waiting for the Oregon Health Authority to release guidance outlining what will be allowed under Phase 2. In a letter earlier this week, Baker County encouraged the Governor’s office to allow additional business sectors to reopen in Phase 2, as well as allow larger gatherings where social distancing can be met, partitions to be placed between restaurant booths as a way to increase restaurant capacity, extend the hours that food and drink can be consumed at restaurants and bars, and allow other recreational activities such as rafting or jet-boating, among other suggestions.

When Phase 2 guidance is released, the information will be provided at The Baker County Business Operations and Recovery group will continue to provide information, resources and assistance for business owners and the public by calling 541-523-0015.