Over the past few months many states have placed a stay at home order and encouraged social distancing. As numbers in the coronavirus cases start to decline, many states are easing their restrictions. Almost all of Oregon’s counties have entered Phase 1 of reopening Oregon.
Steps had to be put in place before any county could reopen. For example, there had to be a decline in hospitalizations. Some other requirements include having the ability to test and conduct contract tracing, having a plan for isolation of new cases, having a hospital capacity to hold a surge of new COVID-19 patients, and having enough equipment to protect healthcare workers. All of these steps must be met in order for any county in Oregon to move on to Phase 1.
Phase 1 includes many business reopening like restaurants, gyms, and salons, but with these reopenings comes a new normal that many people will need to adjust to. Restaurants are required to have customers sit six feet apart, no parties over 10, and the workers must wear masks and gloves. Gyms need to have a maximum gathering limit, have to abide by social distancing guidelines, and must do required sanitation throughout the whole facility. Also, salons are appointment only, need to follow social distancing guidelines, and they must all wear protective gear including the customers.
“I think opening this early is a bad idea. I know the numbers are dropping, but with everyone wanting to go somewhere after quarantine, people are just going to go back to normal without taking precautions,” freshman Delany Liebelt said.
Many students are going to want to hang out and meet with their friends after restrictions start to ease, but they may not take the right precautions in order to meet in a safe and controlled environment.