PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Multnomah County leaders and the Portland City Council discussed on Thursday the steps the county needs to take before applying for Phase 1 of reopening.
Multnomah County is one of only three counties left that hasn't yet moved on to that phase.
Clackamas County has applied and is waiting for clearance by the state.
Washington County has also not applied.
The biggest takeaways, according to the county health officials, Multnomah County is meeting a number of criteria but contact tracing is still a work in progress and took up a large part of the conversation.
Multnomah County health leaders say the county is meeting criteria as far as PPE goes for hospitals and first responders.
They also said the county is meeting criteria for isolation facilities, meaning it has a plan in place to provide hotel rooms or shelter locations for people who cannot self-quarantine if required to do so.
Contact tracing is where the county is focusing its work, according to health officials. The county is 36 percent to its goal of having enough contact tracers.
Health officials overviewed what the contact tracing process looks like, mentioning the people being hired to do the work need to reflect the community, have some connection to health care and some need to be able to speak other languages.
Health officials say the contact tracing process also involves figuring out how to help people who might need to self-quarantine.
“Really fast easy access to dropping off food boxes to bringing disinfectant products to somebody's house. If we're asking them to isolate, we're asking them to not take the bus to the grocery store,” said Multnomah County Communicable Disease Director Kim Toevsi. “So, what are the supports that they're going to need and how can we use our community partnerships with the folks who already do that kind of work with people.”
At this point, Multnomah County has not said its timeline for applying to reopen for Phase 1.
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