News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters enters Phase 2 of reopening plan

Deschutes County has been approved to enter Phase 2 of the State’s reopening plan for Oregon on Saturday, June 6. County officials announced the approval on Friday afternoon.

By entering Phase 2, Deschutes County will be able to continue with the reopening process, following updated health and safety guidance:

• Gathering limits will be raised to 50 people indoors, and 100 people outdoors.

• Indoor and outdoor venues, including churches, faith-based organizations, and theaters, with six feet of physical distancing and other measures in place, can reach a COVID-19 occupancy limit of up to 250 people.

• Offices can begin reopening and employees can return to workplaces with physical distancing and other measures in place, although remote work is still strongly recommended whenever possible.

• Increased travel is allowed throughout Oregon, though staying local is still recommended to prevent overloading county health systems.

• Restaurants and bars will have curfews extended to midnight.

• Pools and sports courts will be allowed to reopen under new guidance.

• Indoor and outdoor activities such as bowling, batting cages, and mini golf, will be allowed to reopen under guidance.

• Recreational sports can resume in a limited form, under strict physical distancing guidance.

“Approval for Phase 2 is a positive indicator of our collective efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Deschutes County,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Henderson. “We heard during the State’s press conference on Wednesday that our state has stabilized and Phase I reopening has not led to a resurgence in cases. While moving into Phase 2 is good news, we still need our community to continue being smart about maintaining physical distance, practicing good hygiene and wearing masks so that we can keep our communities healthy and help Central Oregon’s businesses stay open.”

On Saturday, Oregon Health Authority confirmed 146 new and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as, bringing the state total to 4,808. Saturday’s COVID-19 case count marked the highest daily count since the onset of the pandemic in Oregon. Deschutes has reported 135 cases. The case count in the 97759 zip code remains at zero.

Counties approved to enter Phase 2 must continue to meet Phase 1 metrics, including:

• Declining disease prevalence.

• Having an adequate number of contact tracers (trained and available), including people reflective of the communities they serve.

• Establishing and maintaining adequate testing, isolation and quarantine facilities, sufficient hospital surge capacity, and sufficient personal protective equipment supply.

The State is also monitoring the following public health indicators to inform recommendations on reopening:

• Counties need to demonstrate that they are able to trace new cases within 24 hours.

• As counties see new cases, they must be able to identify where they are coming from at least 70 percent of the time.

• Counties cannot be experiencing a significant increase in cases.


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