Eight Oregon Counties Seek Faster Timetable for Reopening

Last week Gov. Kate Brown requested that Oregon counties submit plans detailing their working strategies for gradually reopening from COVID-19 shutdowns. Several counties that have reported relatively few positive COVID-19 cases are seeking a faster timetable for reopening in response to Gov. Brown’s solicitation. 

Rural counties respond: According to a recent Willamette Week report, officials from eight counties—Douglas, Coos, Curry, Jackson, Josephine, Umatilla, Harney and Baker—are asking that Gov. Brown allow most nonessential businesses to reopen.  

As of April 30, here is the number of positive COVID-19 cases that have been reported in each of these counties according to the Oregon Health Authority. Baker (0), Harney (1), Curry (4), Coos (20), Josephine (20), Douglas (23), Jackson (49), Umatilla (50). A handful of these counties are located near the Oregon Coast and have been facing a serious wave of layoffs due to the effective termination of tourist activity.  

Brown spokeswoman Liz Merah, told WW that the response to these petitions to reopen “will be dependent on detailed plans—with input from local public health officials and health care providers—on how regions will ensure they have adequate testing capacity, sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment, and the public health staff for contact tracing.” 

By JD Brookbank