Multnomah County Seeks to Reopen June 12, Even as COVID-19 Breaks Out at a Portland-Area Business

Today, the county recorded 41 new cases—among the highest one-day totals since the pandemic began.

Masks for sale along Northeast Killingsworth Street in Portland. (Brian Burk)

Multnomah County will seek to begin reopening from COVID-19 closures on Friday, June 12.

County Chair Deborah Kafoury announced that decision in a board briefing this afternoon. She's expected to make a formal announcement shortly.

That decision comes even as Oregon health officials today announced an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the Portland area, tied it to several locations of a single business, then didn't release the name of the business.

Today, Multnomah County recorded 41 new COVID cases—among the highest one-day totals since the pandemic began.

The Oregon Health Authority disclosed the outbreak without naming the business.

"OHA and local county health authorities are investigating an increase in COVID-19 cases tied to an outbreak at specific locations of a business that operates in the tri-county region and the Willamette Valley," the release said. "At this time, there is no indication that the outbreak at these locations poses any significant risk to surrounding communities."

State officials didn't name the company—and declined to do so when asked for more information. "More details about the outbreak, including location information, will be made available in coming days," the release said.

Multnomah County referred questions about the outbreak to OHA. In this afternoon's board meeting, Kafoury said the county plans to apply June 5 to enter the first phase of reopening.

If approved by Gov. Kate Brown, Portland bars, restaurant dining rooms and salons would be allowed to reopen starting June 12. That is likely to make Multnomah County the last place in Oregon to reopen from COVID-19 closures.

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