Starting this Friday, the Portland metro area—meaning Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties—will move from Oregon's "extreme risk" category for COVID-19 restrictions, into the "high risk" category. The change in designation comes as the Metro area, and Oregon as a whole, is seeing a dip in new COVID-19 cases.
That means that restrictions around business operations and in-person gatherings will become slightly less strict. For instance, indoor dining will now be allowed in the Portland area—though restaurants will have to stick to 25 percent capacity or 50 customers (whichever number is lower) for now. Those same capacity rules go for indoor entertainment venues, while faith institutions can host up to 150 people depending on their size.
Indoor gyms can also open at with up to 50 people allowed—a marked improvement from the "extreme risk" restrictions, which only allowed six people in at a time. And longterm care facilities, which had only been allowed to take visitors outside, can now accept indoor visitors as well.
“We can take these incremental steps because people have stepped up and done hard work," saidRegional Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines in a press release. "Our numbers have been dropping to reflect that."
But, Vines warned, "that trend is fragile.”