Counties prepare applications for Phase 2 of reopening

MEDFORD, Ore.– Oregon counties are preparing for the second phase of reopening after the governor sent a notice to county leaders Thursday night.

In the letter, it outlines how counties can send in requests and applications to move forward in the process. Southern Oregon counties are now gathering materials to present in an application to the state.

Counties like Jackson and Josephine are just making sure they dot all their “I’s” and cross their “T’s” to ensure a smooth process.

“Since we just received word late last night it’s going to take a little longer to compile and analyze the data requested,” said Rick Dyer, Jackson County commissioner.

Counties have until next week to submit applications for Phase 2, which could begin in June. However, what will go into effect in the next phase remains unclear at this point.

“We have not seen the very specific sector guidelines that we received for Phase 1,” said Dyer. “Although we didn’t receive those until very late before the applications were approved either.”

On the Oregon reopening website, Phase 2 may include increase work in offices, potentially large gatherings up to 100 people, and visitation to nursing homes.

However, that’s all subject to change as the Oregon Health Authority continues to analyze the state’s data. With Jackson County seeing a small uptick, local health officials are discussing potential outcomes.

But county commissioners believe this shouldn’t hinder a chance of moving forward.

“I’m not going to say absolutely it’s going to happen but I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t and I’m going to be optimistic,” said Dyer.

The governor says a county can only move into Phase 2 after completing 21 days in phase one.

Friday marks 14 days for southern Oregon counties. June 5 will mark 21 days. Several counties have told NBC5 News they plan to have applications submitted next week.

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