UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County is back to Phase 2 of reopening effective immediately.

According to Umatilla County Commissioner George Murdock, Gov. Kate Brown informed the county of its status Friday, Sept. 1, at 7:45 a.m., and an official announcement is expected to be made at a press conference later Friday.

"We knew that we were really in good shape and in the position for it to happen, but we feared that perhaps with all the eyes on the incredible devastation that's going on with the forest fires that maybe it wouldn't get addressed," Murdock said. "But it did."

In Phase 2, indoor and outdoor recreation and entertainment venues, such as movie theaters and pools, are able to reopen, in addition to youth clubs and playgrounds.

Brown and the Oregon Health Authority denied the county's petition for Phase 2 last week, citing three of six metrics that county hadn't met and a prevalence of COVID-19 cases above 100 cases per 100,000 people.

According to the Oregon Health Authority's, the county is now meeting all six metrics as of Sept. 9 and has reported just 47 new cases of the virus since Sept. 5.

"It required a whole lot of people stepping up to the plate, so I think the whole county ought to be feeling awfully good today that the joint effort has paid off," Murdock said.

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