Oregon Issues New COVID-19 Guidance for Employers as Most Counties Enter Phase 2

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COVID-19 Resource Hub

We continue to track Governor Brown’s plans for Oregon’s phased reopening, and the impact on Oregon employers.  Select Oregon counties have been approved to move into Phase 2 effective June 5, 2020, with the majority of Oregon counties moving into Phase 2 by June 8.  Multnomah County, Oregon’s most populous county, remains at Baseline, but hopes to enter Phase 1 starting June 12.

Phase 2 of Oregon’s reopening plan generally allows gatherings of up to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, and encourages individuals to gather outdoors when possible.  The onus is on the operators of gatherings to determine maximum occupancy of each indoor and outdoor area and maintain at least six feet physical distance between parties, and adhere to various cleaning and sanitation requirements, which are available here.  Phase 2 also has sector-specific requirements for indoor & outdoor entertainment facilities, restaurants & bars, swimming pools & sports courts, recreational sports, and venues & events that are set forth in detail below.  Given the many moving parts and that requirements differ by sector, it is prudent for employers to ensure their employees have been provided with proper written policies, protocols, training, and necessary PPE before reopening their doors to the public.

Indoor & Outdoor Entertainment Facilities

  • All employees must wear a mask or face covering unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies; employer must provide masks/face coverings for employee use 
  • All employees must be trained on cleaning operations and best hygiene practices 
  • Gathering capacity must be limited to that necessary to maintain six feet of physical distance between parties, up to a maximum occupancy of 250 people
  • Facility must ensure that physical distancing of at least six feet between people of different parties is maintained, and must not combine parties or allowed shared seating for individuals not in the same party, or allow people in different parties to congregate 
  • Parties must be limited to 10 people or fewer
  • Facility activities must end by 10:00 p.m. 
  • No contact sports or use of playgrounds, play areas, or ball pits 
  • Requirements regarding cleaning/sanitation and signage 

Restaurants & Bars

  • All employees must be trained on appropriate hygiene 
  • Employees must wear gloves when performing cleaning, sanitizing, or disinfecting activities 
  • All employees must wear a mask or face covering unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies; employer must provide masks/face coverings for employee use
  • Maximum occupancy must be limited to that necessary to maintain six feet of distance between parties, and tables must be spaced at least six feet apart 
  • Must ensure that parties remain at least six feet apart, and post appropriate signage 
  • Parties must be limited to 10 people or fewer
  • On-site consumption of food and drink, including alcohol, must end by midnight 
  • No self-service operations such as buffets, salad bars, or soda machines  
  • No pre-set tableware; condiments must be in single-service packets and must provide single-use or cleanable menus 
  • No counter or bar seating unless the counter faces a window or wall and at least six feet of distance is maintained between parties and staff behind the bar 

Swimming Pools & Sports Courts

  • Employees, including lifeguards, must wear a mask or face covering when not in the water; employer must provide masks/face coverings for employee use
  • Employees and visitors must not enter the premises if they show symptoms of COVID-19
  • Must maintain at least six feet of physical distance between people, except those in the same party, and develop a plan to limit the number of visitors admitted into the pool or sport court so that six feet of distance can be maintained
  • If pool is used for lap swimming, must limit to one lap swimmer per lane
  • No water fountains except those designed to fill water bottles in a contact-free manner
  • Requirements regarding cleaning/sanitation and signage

Recreational Sports

  • Employees and players must wear a mask or face covering when not actively participating in the sport unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies
  • Employees and players who have any COVID-19 like symptoms must not enter the premises or sporting location
  • Must maintain physical distance of at least six feet and limit the number of spectators so that six feet of physical distance may be maintained
  • Contact between participants must be limited to the extent necessary to play the game; no handshakes, high fives, or fist or chest bumps
  • No water fountains except those designed to fill water bottles in a contact-free manner
  • Requirements regarding cleaning/sanitation and signage

Venue & Event Operators

  • All employees must wear a mask or face covering unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies; employer must provide masks/face coverings for employee use 
  • Attendees/visitors should be encouraged to wear masks/face coverings
  • Gathering capacity must be limited to that necessary to maintain six feet of physical distance between parties, up to a maximum occupancy of 250 people
  • Must maintain at least six feet of physical distance between parties; parties are limited to no more than 10 people
  • Must stagger arrival and departure times to the extent possible
  • Must use metal detectors and wands in lieu of a search or pat down
  • No water fountains except those designed to fill water bottles in a contact-free manner
  • Requirements regarding cleaning/sanitation and signage

Suffice it to say that many employees will be returning to a very different workplace than they left several months ago.  Having management and HR professionals up to speed on these requirements and well-positioned to field employee questions and concerns will help ensure a smoother transition.  Additional information about the general legal and business implications of the COVID-19 pandemic is available on our COVID-19 Resource Hub.  For guidance specific to the challenges facing your business, please contact us.

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Brenda K. Baumgart
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