PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – By the end of this week, Multnomah County will have been in Phase 1 of reopening for 21 days.
It’s after that threshold that Oregon counties can become eligible for Phase 2.
Right now, every Oregon county is in Phase 2 except for Lincoln, Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington.
And those latter three in the Portland metro area are all linked together for future re-openings, but FOX 12 is hearing from officials that those three counties won’t be moving to Phase 2 any time soon.
A spokesperson for the governor’s office said the COVID-19 metrics for those three counties are troubling, including significant increases in the number of new cases and the number of cases that can’t be traced back to a known source.
That’s bad news for businesses that have to wait for Phase 2 in order to fully reopen, like King Pins with locations in Portland and Beaverton.
Owner Tom Burke said under Phase 1 they’ve been able to open their restaurants and gaming but bowling has to wait.
“Bowling is what drives our game room what drives our restaurant and bar and so it’s a struggle right now,” Burke said.
He said between the two locations they used to have 200 employees and are now down to about 30.
“We just feel terrible. We feel terrible for the team and we just need to get them back and working and we’re hoping we can do that pretty darn quick,” Burke said.
But with what we’re hearing from officials, the tri-county metro area is not ready for the next phase.
In an email, a Multnomah County spokesperson said, “We want to move cautiously toward reopening to avoid taking one step forward only to be forced to take two steps back. Phase II is a big step toward business as usual, and the virus is not sufficiently contained to allow us to take that step.”
Washington County shared concerns of an increase in cases, the percentage of positive tests, the number of cases that can’t be linked to other cases, and increased hospitalizations.
Clackamas County said as of last week, they’re seeing a downward trend in positive COVID-19 results, but the governor’s office said the number of hospitalizations there increased.
Back at the bowling alley, Burke said they have safety protocol ready to go as soon as they get the green light.
“We’re set to keep one lane off in between groups so we can manage the social distancing that way, we’re going to be cleaning bowling balls, disinfecting after each use along with the shoes, disinfecting the tables, the automatic scores. We’ve got the plan in place, we’ve just got to be able to execute this,” he said.
But at this rate, it’s hard to know when that might be.
“We saved for a rainy day, but that rainy day has passed. Those four months were those tough times. Right now, we need to get open really soon,” Burke said.
State and county representatives said that individual actions make a huge difference in this and reiterated the importance of face coverings, social distancing, and limiting the number of people you hang out with.
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