PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Washington County on Friday applied to enter Phase 1 of reopening starting in June, leaving Multnomah County as the only county in the state yet to enter or apply for Phase 1.
Health officials said this week the county doesn't even have a timeline to begin that process, leaving its businesses in limbo.
In mid-March, owner Cana Flug closed her northwest Portland restaurant Besaw's and bar The Solo Club, and they haven't been doing any takeout or delivery, though that will change soon.
"We realized that doing ten percent or twenty percent of our business or fifty percent was going to still be losing money," Flug said.
Flug had to lay off her hundred-person staff, too.
"It was heartbreaking just because there’s a lot of fear involved," Flug said. "I mean, two months into it, there's still fear involved, there’s uncertainty."
At this point, there’s no timeline from Multnomah County as to when Phase 1 could start, allowing bars and restaurants to open back up for sit-down service.
And Flug feels it two-fold: her partner owns Bishops Barbershop with Portland locations waiting for the green light too.
"Does it suck, absolutely, ya know, do we have to figure out means to remain hopeful and know that it's gonna happen," Flug said."There's not much more we can do about it. We choose to live in an urban neighborhood and we want to take care of an urban population and we want to do it safely."
Multnomah County health officials have said they still have a couple hurdles in meeting the governor’s Phase 1 criteria, saying Thursday the county has to figure out some more logistics for isolation and quarantine, and has less than half the number of contact tracers it needs.
Contact tracing has been a challenge for Washington County too, but Friday, officials there submitted the Phase 1 application, saying they plan to have enough staff hired and trained by June 1 to begin opening up then.
Flug said as she waits, they’re going to get started on to-go food to ease into things and prepare to meet all of the guidelines that will come with eventual reopen.
"We want to take care of you, we want to do this again and so it's building trust at the end of the day," Flug said.
They don’t know exactly when they’re going to get started on to-go service. She said to monitor their social media accounts for that.
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