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New regulations say establishments can offer indoor dining with a capacity of 25% maximum, or 50 people.

COURTESY PHOTO - Along with outdoor dining, The Cazadero will now offer a limited amount of indoor seating.

In light of Clackamas County switching from extreme to high risk for COVID-19 safety, some Estacada establishments are preparing to offer a limited amount of indoor dining.

The state announced Tuesday, Feb. 9, that it would drop risk level ratings for counties due to a decline in new infections.

Ten counties moved out of the extreme risk category, some for the first time since November. That list includes Deschutes, Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln and Linn, which all moved from extreme risk to high risk. The biggest news statewide was the move of Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties, also going from extreme to high risk.

"This is welcome news, as we'll start to see more businesses open up and Oregonians being able to get out a bit more," Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday in announcing the updated risk levels.

The announcement ends a streak of sustained extreme risk levels for most of the populous areas in the state, going back to November. Through Monday, Oregon has reported 147,219 COVID-19 infections and 2,024 deaths. After peaking at more than 1,500 cases per day over a one-week average in early December, the infection trend wobbled through the holiday season before beginning a steady drop at the beginning of 2021. The seven-day average is just above 584 new cases per day, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

The risk level move means that beginning Friday, counties can loosen restrictions on indoor dining, gyms, gathering spaces and other areas. The new levels will remain in place through Feb. 25. New risk levels will be announced in two weeks, on Feb. 23, to go into effect Feb. 26.

Under high-risk restrictions, eating and drinking establishments can allow indoor dining with a capacity of 25% maximum or 50 people, whichever is smaller. Outdoor dining is still allowed at a 75-people maximum and takeout is recommended. For indoor and outdoor seating, six people are allowed per party and per table with a limit of two households. All establishments must close by 11 p.m.

At Aradia Restaurant and Bistro, Lesa Wood said she was excited to hear laughter in the restaurant again, which was previously operating solely on take-out. The updated restrictions will allow about 12 customers in the space at 360 Broadway St.

"I don't think it will cause huge chaos," Wood said.

The restaurant will continue to offer to-go options, and there will be new signage to ensure that both groups of customers can easily access what they need while ensuring social distancing.

"It's a little bit of encouragement," she said. "We're super excited to see faces again," she said.

Several additional Estacada businesses announced plans for resuming indoor dining in Facebook posts.

Harmony, 221 S.W. Wade St., will offer some indoor dining beginning in April. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.

Along with outdoor dining and takeout, operators of The Cazadero, 352 S.W. Highway 211, announced they would offer a limited amount of indoor dining beginning on Friday, Feb. 12.

"We can't wait to see you all," the restaurant posted.

Gary A. Warner with Oregon Capital Bureau contributed to this story.


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