Governor says ‘yes’ to Malheur County – a step back to normal starts Friday

Jolts and Juice continues to serve customers by taking orders outside the coffee shop. Pictured: Barista Kelsi Marvin with customers Corinthia Mitchell, Tyler Wentz, Oscar Tamez and Brent Watkins. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

Gov. Kate Brown is allowing Malheur County to open more of its businesses and activities on Friday, the county announced Thursday morning.

A formal announcement from the governor is expected at a news conference later Thursday morning.

Sarah Poe, director of the Malheur County Health Department, said word of the approval for the county’s detailed plan to open came in a letter from the governor.

Under terms of the approval, businesses that were ordered closed, such as barbers and hairdressers, can open again – but with limitations. Restaurants and bars can now once again serve patrons inside, but with restrictions on seating and hours.

Poe said the county’s plan, though, requires everyone to observe recommendations and restrictions.

The county task force that put together the plan approved by Brown “urges everyone who lives and works in Malheur County to show their support for reopening by wearing cloth face coverings when they leave home, staying vigilant about hand washing and disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining six feet physical distance from people outside your household when possible.”

As of Wednesday, the county had recorded 15 cases of COVID-19 and one presumed case. None have required hospitalization and no one in the county has died from the respiratory disease.

This is a developing story with more details to be posted by the Enterprise.


Malheur County edges closer to state approval to begin reopening