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Guidelines would allow restaurants and bars to reopen while maintaining some safeguards.

PMG PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Restaurants like Bollywood Theater on Southeast Division Street in Portland could re-open with safety guidelines under a draft proposal released Thursday by the governor's office. Gov. Kate Brown's office has posted draft guidelines for how businesses might be able to resume operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidelines include maintaining strict social distancing and potentially recording customers' IDs in case health officials need to trace who came in contact with someone infected with the coronavirus.

"Consider keeping a record of name, contact information and date/time of visit for customers/visitors for purposes of contact tracing if needed. Businesses should inform customers/visitors of the reason the information is being collected and how the information will be used," says a draft of employer guidance posted on the governor's coronavirus website.

The draft offers this suggested language for what to tell customers: "This business is collecting basic information to share with public health in the event a COVID-19 case is identified associated with this business," the draft reads.

Restaurants and bars would have to limit seating. Patrons might wait in their vehicles until told their table was ready. Video lottery could resume but with 6 feet of social distancing required.

Liz Merah, one of Brown's press secretaries, cautioned that the drafts are subject to change.

"These documents are a product of our sector-specific working group discussions with business owners and other stakeholders," Merah wrote in an email response to questions. "Generally speaking, the goal is to develop guidance for these business sectors that will keep employees and patrons safe from COVID-19 as we work to gradually and safely reopen Oregon."

Restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries and similar establishments would have to ensure that parties stayed 6 feet apart when approaching or leaving tables as well as when seated. A party could consist of up to 10 people. Because they chose to congregate together, individuals in the same party would not have to remain 6 feet apart from one another.

Retail stores would need to limit the number of customers so as to maintain 6 feet of distance, as well as keep customers and employees apart.

Oregonians would be asked not to travel more than 50 miles from home unless necessary to obtain essential services.

Other proposed rules include:

• No customer self-service operations, such as buffets, salad bars, soda machines and growler refilling stations.

• No seating at bars or counters.

• No reusable menus unless they can be cleaned between customers.

• No karaoke machines, pool tables or bowling.

• Encouraging employees and customers to wear face masks, except when restaurant or bar patrons are seated at a table.

• Following specific sanitation procedures.

Dick Hughes is a freelance journalist who has covered Oregon issues since 1976. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Oregon Capital Bureau is a consortium of Oregon newspaper chains, including Pamplin Media group.


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