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WVVA kicks off Responsible Reopening Campaign to help businesses while allaying customers' fears about venturing out during the pandemic

The Willamette Valley Visitors Association has joined forces with more than 150 businesses, including more than a dozen area wineries, to mount the Responsible Reopening Campaign, an effort designed to encourage safe practices as businesses emerge from the lockdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are very excited to announce this program in partnership with industry leaders and key stakeholders, including the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association and our local destination partners," Dawnielle Tehama, executive director of the association, said in a news release. "Together we are launching this voluntary, self-regulated campaign aimed at ensuring necessary measures are taken to guarantee safe procedures for the operation of our local businesses."

The effort plays out this way: Participating businesses have pledged to enact a 10-point safety checklist designed to create the safest possible environment for workers and guests. The measures include encouraging physical distancing, implementing enhanced sanitation procedures and accepting reservations with an eye on managing capacity. The businesses will then display decals, window clings and other visible signs bearing the Responsible Reopening logo to assure visitors that enhanced safety protocols are in place.

With input from the various industries represented, the standards support guidelines created by the Oregon Health Authority and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are designed to show a "true, valley-wide message of unity, care and excellence," the release said.

The WVVA joined forces with the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, Oregon Agritourism Partnership, Willamette Riverkeepers and several local destination marketing associations throughout the state in the effort.

"We are pleased that the Willamette Valley Visitors Association has shepherded the region's many tourism businesses and stakeholders to communicate the Willamette Valley's strong pledge for safe and responsible reopenings," said Morgen McLaughlin, executive director at the Willamette Valley Wineries Association.

Newberg-area businesses that have joined the effort range from Adelsheim and Anne Amie Vineyards to the Allison Inn & Spa, from the Argyle Tasting House to Chapters Books and Coffee.

For more information on the Responsible Reopening Campaign, visit oregonwinecountry/responsible-reopening.

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