Restaurants rejoice at COVID-19 reopening
A lot happened in Oregon concerning COVID-19 the day after Gov. Kate Brown announced she was easing sanctions on 15 "Extreme Risk" counties on Friday, May 7.
Brown made the announcement Tuesday, May 4. Restaurant owners celebrated the return in indoor dining. The Oregon Health & Sciences University announced that appointments will not be needed for vaccinations at Portland International Airport this weekend. And the Oregon Health Authority said virus cases, deaths and hospitalizations are still increasing.
Brown had imposed the additional restrictions on the 15 counties — including Multnomah and Clackamas — last Friday. She was expected to renew and expand them to Washington County this Friday. Instead, she announced late Tuesday afternoon that no counties will be classified as "Extreme Risk" on May 7 — and never again during the pandemic.
The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association cheered the announcement. It means indoor dining will be allowed this Sunday on Mother's Day, the busiest day of the year for restaurants. They said many restaurants will have to place last-minute supply orders and rearrange staffing plans. Some restaurants have told KOIN 6 News they will be able to rehire a few people immediately.
Also on Wednesday, OHSU said an appointment will not be required this weekend for its vaccination site at Portland International Airport. Demand for vaccine appointments is going down, but less than half of all Oregonians are fully vaccinated, according to Oregon health officials.
The Portland International Airport Red Economy Parking Lot will be open between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, May 8, and between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 9.
People can still schedule a shot at the OHSU COVID-19 Vaccines website. Those without internet access or who need extra help can call 833-647-8222.
And the Oregon Health Authority reported 808 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the state total to 188,417.
One new death was also reported, bringing the state's death toll to 2,509. A total of 330 Oregonians remain hospitalized due to the virus, with 83 of them in ICU beds.
Oregon is averaging administering 31,644 vaccine doses per day, the health authority said. The state has administered a total of 1,687,447 first and second doses of Pfizer, 1,334,561 first and second doses of Moderna and 99,793 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune and contributed to this story.
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