7 southern Oregon counties get approval for Phase 1 reopening

SOUTHERN OREGON — All southwestern Oregon counties have gotten approval from Governor Kate Brown to move forward in Phase 1 of reopening on Friday, May 15.

Jackson County received its approval late Wednesday night. Commissioner Rick Dyer shared the letter from the Governor on his Facebook page.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown is holding a press conference Thursday morning to announce all the counties approved to enter Phase 1 reopening from the coronavirus shutdown.

In a form letter, the Governor outlined her plan for a safe and strong Oregon. She also warned that reopening does not come without risk. Each county was informed that the Oregon Health Authority would be monitoring COVID-19 cases in their counties and would be prepared to assist should any concerns arise.

Dyer stated he hoped the early notice would give eagerly awaiting business owners a little extra time to prepare.

In addition, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Lake, and Klamath counties announced Thursday morning that they got the green light to start reopening.

In a letter sent from Oregon Governor Kate Brown to Commissioners, the Governor lays out her goals for a “safe and strong Oregon.” These include:

  1. Minimize hospitalizations and deaths;
  2. Allow people to return to work so they can support themselves and their families;
  3. Minimize risk to frontline workers;
  4. Avoid overwhelming the health care system;
  5. Protect those at highest risk of severe illness, especially the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, and communities of color; and
  6. Support social/cultural/spiritual reopening for small groups that preserve community cohesion and cultural practices.

Phase One reopening comes with several guidelines aimed at preventing the COVID-19 virus from spreading unchecked through communities. The Governor warns that reopening comes with its own risks. She states that the Oregon Health Authority will be monitoring the spread of the virus in Curry County.

Blakely McHugh is co-anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and spokesperson for In This Together, a suicide prevention initiative. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA. Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors. Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “hi!”
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