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County can reopen under Phase 1 guidelines effective Friday, May 15, following Gov. Brown approval

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - The Columbia County Courthouse has been closed to the public except for appointments. , South County Spotlight - News State announces first confirmed case of coronavirus in Columbia County First COVID-19 case identified in Columbia County

Columbia County has received state approval to begin reopening businesses on Friday, May 15.

Gov. Kate Brown said the county met the criteria for reopening, as outlined in the county's May 11 application.

"I want to be clear that reopening does not come without risks," Brown stated in her approval letter, dated May 13. "With every restriction lifted we know transmission of the virus has the potential to increase. The contact tracing, testing and personal protective equipment requirements that were part of the conditions for reopening will be essential to mitigate the transmission increase."COURTESY OF COLUMBIA COUNTY - A letter from Gov. Kate Brown yesterday announced approval of Columbia County's Phase 1 reopening plan.

Columbia County is part of a region with Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Clatsop and Tillamook counties, but each county applies for reopening separately. As of Thursday, May 14, three of those counties — Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas — were the only counties in the state that had not yet submitted reopening plans to the state.

Columbia County has only had 16 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 15 of those having recovered as of Thursday.

The county had 1,019 negative tests, putting its tests rate in line with the state average.


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