The Beaver State area restaurants, bars, and brewpubs in the Portland metro will reopen their indoor dining rooms. It will be at limited capacity at the end of the week, Governor Kate Brown announced on Tuesday. This will happen for the first time since November.
Indoor Dining is the Result of Falling COVID-19 Cases
As a result of falling COVID-19 cases, this is the move that led Brown to shift 10 Oregon counting, including Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington, from the “extreme” to the “high” risk category. This allows the partial reopening of some businesses including restaurants, gyms and movie theaters.
Beaver State Including Portland Metro: Restaurants can be Filled to 25% Capacity
The change means that for restaurants starting this Friday, dining rooms not open since November can now fill up to 25% capacity. Or 50 people. In fact, whichever is fewer with parties limiting to six people from no more than two households. Therefore, the restaurants will still have to close by 11 p.m.
Oregon’s Four Risk Categories
Moreover, extreme, high, modern and low are the four risk categories of Oregon. Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington countries during the most recent two-week period tracked by the state each had fewer than 200 cases per 100,000 residents. They test positivity rates lower than 10%. This qualifies them to drop out of the most restrictive category.
Beaver State: Reopening Indoor Dining is a “Step in the Right Direction.”
Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association president Jason Brandt called the announcement a “step in the right direction.”
Inconsistency of the Policy of COVID-19 Affecting Businesses
The No. 1 challenge facing the industry is the “opening and closing restaurant operations.” This is according to the lobbying group as restaurants lay off or rehire workers. They are also trying to figure how much food they might need to buy. This is based on whether indoor dining is open or not.
The lobbying group described “opening and closing restaurant operations” as the No. 1 challenge facing the industry, with restaurants forced to lay off or rehire workers and forecast how much food they might need to buy based on whether indoor dining is open or not. Eliminating the “extreme” risk category would altogether give restaurants more flexibility going forward.
Restaurants Face Challenges Due to COVID-19 Closures Without a Safety Net
On a more cautious note, the Independent Restaurant Association of Oregon called the move a “double-edged sword” for restaurants that might find themselves closing temporarily to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks at work, with a safe place to land.