Gov. Brown says rural counties could start reopening May 15

OREGON — Rural Oregon could begin reopening as soon as May 15, according to Governor Kate Brown.

In a press conference Friday morning, she said reopening the economy will be slower than anyone wants.

“We’re not going to be able to reopen Oregon quickly or in one fell swoop,” Gov. Brown said.

After following a strict stay at home order for about month, Gov. Brown says rural counties that show fewer cases would need to have the ability to test, contact trace and isolate.

“Assuming these counties have these processes in place that would enable us to safely and slowly begin the reopening process,” Gov. Brown said.

The governor has three key goals for the state testing for any Oregonian showing symptoms, testing for people in vulnerable settings and widespread randomized testing. 100,000 random Oregonians will be asked to voluntarily be tested for coronavirus as part of an OHSU study to get an idea of how widespread the virus is statewide.

“Will allow us to better understand where the disease is located, how common it is and how it might be transmitted around the state,” Patrick Allen, OHA Director, said.

Gov. Brown says re-opening the economy will be slow and cautious to avoid a major spike in cases.

“Make no mistake, physical distancing will remain a part of our daily lives until we have the security of a vaccine or treatment for the disease,” Gov. Brown said.

The state’s partnership with OHSU is being called ‘Key to Oregon’. OHSU says the goal is to better understand the virus’ infection patterns and create real-time mapping with the goal of controlling future outbreaks.

Anna Weeks is the anchor of NBC5 News at 5 and 11 and Your Place @7 with Anna Weeks. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a degree in Digital Communication Arts and a minor in writing. Previously, she interned with the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Originally from the Portland area, Anna loves exploring Southern Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, and watching sports.
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