By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Commissioners ask for county to move to Phase 2 reopening

News-Register file photo##Phase 2 loosens restrictions on many activities, including bowling, arcades, batting cages and mini-golf,  with limits on occupancy and physical distancing.
News-Register file photo##Phase 2 loosens restrictions on many activities, including bowling, arcades, batting cages and mini-golf, with limits on occupancy and physical distancing.

UPDATE: Thursday afternoon Yamhill County received approval from the state to move to Phase 2 Reopening on Saturday, June 6.




Yamhill County Commissioners Wednesday morning voted to ask Gov. Kate Brown to allow the county to move to Phase 2 reopening.

If approved, the county could be in Phase 2 by June 6.

However, approval is uncertain.

State guidelines allow counties to continue reopening only if they've shown a decline in cases and have established how people are contracting coronavirus -- through small outbreaks or general community spread.  Technically, Yamhill County has met neither criterium.

County heath director Lindsey Manfrin said Yamhill County had seven new positive cases confirmed in the past week.

Contact tracers have confirmed how 50 percent of all the county's cases started. The most recent cases are not linked, but are apparently due to community spread, she said.

Commissioners hope to win approval for Phase 2 reopening, however, based on the small total number of cases in the county. They also noted that only one person is currently hospitalized due to COVID-19.

State rules depend on percentages, commissioners explained during their special meeting Wednesday morning. But when there are only a few cases, such as in Yamhill County, any increase in numbers causes a big jump in percentages.

Commissioners Rick Olsen, Mary Starrett and Kasey Kulla directed county Administrator Ken Huffer to send a letter to the governor explaining that Yamhill County has few cases, even with the recent jump, and that hospitalizations are low -- the most the county has seen hospitalized peaked at four, Manfrin said.

Huffer also noted that rules for moving from Phase I to Phase 2 reopening say counties must meet either a certain percentage of increases or a certain number of a total. The "or" might help the county win approval, he said.

"'Or' gives a much better indication of what's happening in this county," Huffer said.

Yamhill County qualified for Phase 1 reopening May 15. It had to wait 21 days before applying for the next phase.

Phase 2 guidlines allow indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100. Large indoor venues such as churches could expand occupancy to up to 250 people, depending on their size.

Low-contact sports and youth sports may return to play. They must follow rules about sanitizing shared equipment.

It allows bowling, arcades, batting cages and mini-golf with limits on occupancy and physical distancing.

Bars and restaurants could stay open until midnight.

Working from home isn't required, but is still strongly recommended.



Bill B

Question; How is Phase 1 going? Are businesses following the guidelines? Who is enforcing the guidelines? Seems to me that many businesses are still not open or are just starting yet we are jumping ahead to the next phase. Are we just going through the motions?


No one should have to ask to have permission to do anything in this state at this point in time. If 400 people can have a rally at our police station and 10,000 can gather in Portland for a rally all bets are off. Kate Brown couldn’t direct a grade school tiddlywinks game so she has no overreach left in this state. Churches, restaurants, sports venues, concerts and all of it should be back in play the way she handled the rioters in this state. I can’t wait to sign the petition to recall the most worthless elected public official in Oregon’s history.


It is time for the State to re-justify why we can not return to normal. They could start with showing us what models & data they are using.

The Federal Govenrnment appeared to be influenced by the modeling of epidemiologist Neil Ferguson (2.2 million deaths etc). The Federal Government did not lock down any state. The Governor of California started the Lock Downs and our Governor followed by locking down Oregon the day before McMinnville’s Wine and Food Classic (SIP). The Governors justification as I recall, was that the President did too little too late.

Yesterday Neil Ferguson admitted that Sweden was able to control the virus just as effective as other countries without ordering a lockdown. Ferguson’s model for Sweden forecasted that 90,000 would die. At the end of May the death toll was 4,350. And:

Ferguson’s worst case model showing 2.2 million deaths due to Covid-19 was based on the assumption that 81% of the population (approx. 268 Million in the US) would get infected. It did NOT assume healthcares systems would have to be overwhelmed to result in order for 2.2 million to die.

I am not sure what models or data Oregon is using but it is a fact that we will never have all the data. Without all the data models are never correct because they are based on assumptions. Some models can be useful if one adds common sense and offers a citizen the freedom to chose.

I say open up Oregon Now or justify why they can’t based on logic, not some incorrect model.


Hold up. We need to wait for about two weeks to go through the incubation period. However, unless there is a MASSIVE increase in COVID-19 cases after a week of numerous thousands nationwide yelling and screaming for hours in close quarters day after day, then the lockdown should be radically revised.

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