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Governor and health officials said plans submitted by 28 Oregon counties have been approved to reopen under the first phase of health guidelines.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Gov. Kate Brown said Thursday, May 14, that Yamhill County was one of 28 counties approved for reopening under the COVID-19 health guidelines.Yamhill County was among more than two dozen counties that state health officials approved Thursday, May 14, for limited reopening under strict guidelines.

Gov. Kate Brown told reporters Thursday morning that Oregon's Health Authority approved 28 county plans for phase one reopening. Brown said businesses in those counties could reopen with limitations and physical-distancing rules.

"This is good news," Brown said during a briefing on the state's action. "I want Oregonians to know that we will continue to work closely with local health and communities to address the spread of this virus."

Under the first phase health guidelines, restaurants and bars in the counties can reopen with sit-down service, limiting customers to 10 people, requiring employees and face covering and ending service by 10 p.m. Barbers and salons can reopen but they must screen clients before visits, keep a log of customers and have physical distancing in the businesses. Gyms can also reopen as long as they keep six feet between customers. The counties can also allow in-person gatherings of up to 25 people, with physical-distancing limits.

The counties will stay in the first phase for three weeks. If state health officials see a spike in COVID-19 cases in the counties, the stay-home rules might return, Brown said.

"We are venturing out onto thin ice, and we need to step carefully and cautiously," she said.




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