Governor Kate Brown is announcing new criteria for business closures due to COVID-19

Eight months after the Oregonians first left home, Governor Kate Brown will issue a series of criteria that will determine when the state will close indoor dining and gyms by county.

In the future, the governor will make some restrictions more stringent and others less stringent during the two-week freeze he announced across the state.

In the 21 counties that currently pose an extraordinary risk of COVID-19 transmission, restaurants will be offering outdoor meals after the freeze, starting on December 3, regardless of the number of cases. (Meals should actually be outdoors, in structures open to the air on three sides.)

This is less stringent than the current criteria, although the state has not defined a risk category that would ever shut down an outdoor meal. Brown merely included the closure during the two-week “freeze” that is currently in effect across the country.

Similarly, churches are no longer limited to 25 people; instead, the limit will be 100 people, or 25% of occupancy, whichever is lower.

In contrast, retail facilities are limited to 50% capacity instead of the current 75% capacity. This is a stricter criterion.

The state defines “extreme risk” counties as those that have registered 200 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days and a positive of at least 10 percent.

Currently, 21 counties in the state qualify as extraordinary risk, including all three Portland metro counties – Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.

The new categories do not change the criteria for opening schools or emergency childcare.