PORTLAND, OR — Washington state is just days away from entering phase one of reopening parts of the economy and social interactions, but don’t expect any big changes to Oregon’s social distancing measures this week.
In Washington, phase one of a four step plan to reopen starts on a Tuesday.
One of the biggest changes people will see is more access and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Washingtonians will be able to hunt and fish, go boating, play rounds of golf and hit the hiking trails but social distancing measures will remain in place and people shouldn’t be recreating with other people outside of their household.
Some Washington state parks will also be reopening for day use only. Don’t head to the popular Beacon Rock State Park – or the coast – those parks will remain closed.
As for businesses: construction, landscaping, car sales and retail with curbside pickup are among the industries that can get back to work in phase one, although not necessarily all at once. For example, Gov. Jay Inslee says retailers might reopen mid-May.
And here’s what people shouldn’t be doing once phase one kicks off this week: traveling. That’s still banned unless a trip is essential. And people can’t have gatherings either, but people can attend churches or spiritual services in their car with immediate members of their home.
When it comes to elective procedures, Gov. Inslee last week did clarify some points of his order to postpone them, but the ban won’t be lifted for a couple more weeks.
Meanwhile, in Oregon, reopening the Beaver State is already looking different.
Oregonians were able to resume elective procedures last week – and people can golf in Oregon but state parks are still closed.
Gov. Kate Brown has drafted a three-phase plan for reopening the state, including allowing childcare facilities and possibly restaurants to reopen in phase one.
However, it’s unclear when phase one would start.
More recently, Brown unveiled guidelines for reopening Oregon counties. Rural counties with zero to few COVID-19 cases could begin reopening as early as May 15 but would need to meet certain requirements.
In Washington, Gov. Inslee said counties with fewer COVID-19 cases could ask the state to reopen faster if they meet certain criteria. There are ten counties that currently qualify including Skamania County.
In Washington, the stay at home order was extended through the rest of the month.
In Oregon, there’s no timeline for Gov. Brown’s stay at home order, although Brown’s emergency declaration has been extended through July.
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