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Reopening of restaurants, bars and other businesses will begin on Saturday, May 23

Clackamas County received word from Gov. Kate Brown's office and the Oregon Health Authority today, Friday, May 22, that its phase-one reopening plan was approved. Clackamas will become the largest county in the state, and first in the metro area, to reopen. Reopening is set to take effect tomorrow, Saturday, May 23. FILE PHOTO - Clackamas County's phase one reopening plan to take effect Saturday, May 23.

The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners approved county staff within its emergency operations centers to submit the plan Tuesday afternoon after some discussion and a few brief amendments.

"Thank you, Clackamas County," said County Chair Jim Bernard. "Without your incredible efforts in 'flattening the curve,' we would not have been able to move into Phase 1."

According to the governor's guidlines published on May 15, phase one reopening includes businesses such as restaurants and bars; personal services like salons, barbershops and gyms; as well as retail shopping centers and malls.

Phase one also allows for local gatherings of 25 or fewer people.

In a letter to the county Friday, Brown said she wanted to make clear thatreopening does not come without risks. "With every restriction lifted we know transmission of the virus has the potential to increase," Brown wrote. "The contact tracing, testing and personal protective equipment requirements that were part of the conditions for opening will be essential tomitigate that transmission increase."

Bernard echoed those comments in his statement to county residents, noting that there's still work to be done to beat this outbreak and continue progress.

"Safety measures such as frequent handwashing, thorough cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, social distancing and face coverings will ensure we continue to keep trends moving in the right direction," Bernard said.

Local residents wondering what has reopened and what remains closed can use the new 'Who's Open?' app built by county staff and released last week.

The announcement today follows word that Clackamas County parks are set to reopen beginning June 1 following some final preparations being made by county park employees.

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