Northeast Oregon Joint Information Center COVID-19 Union County Actively Working to Develop Reopening Plan

Union County Actively Working to Develop Reopening Plan

On April 14, Governor Kate Brown announced her framework for reopening Oregon: a plan to restart public life and business while maintaining healthy Oregon communities. The framework stated that there are requirements Oregon communities must meet to begin reopening.

Union County is working towards development of the plan addressing the Governor’s requirements for reopening. It is our highest priority to allow our citizens to go back to work while continuing to protect our health care providers, emergency responders, and vulnerable populations. Although a rough outline has been provided by the State, requirements to implement the framework have not yet been provided. The Governor has provided a list of capabilities and resources that must be in place prior to implementing the first phase of opening. The Governor’s “Next Steps” identified in the reopening plan include input from local leaders, local healthcare providers, and County Public Health. The County is awaiting state requirements for specific businesses including restaurants, bars and personal services.

The framework also required certain Public Health and hospital benchmarks, but did not provide specific quantifiable guidance or direction. The framework states that there must be a declining growth rate of active cases; sufficient personal protective equipment; hospital surge capacity; robust testing, adequate tracing and isolation strategies; and strategies that will protect the hardest hit and vulnerable populations.

Union County is anxious to reopen our economy. It is important to note that if cases do not remain flat, we may be mandated to return to our current status of Stay Home-Stay Safe. We hear daily of our constituents many difficulties and want people to be able to return to work. Union County also wants to make sure that reopening is accomplished thoughtfully and safely, with mitigations in place that protect our constituents, first responders, medical professionals and vulnerable populations.