DALLAS — With Polk County authorized to move into Phase 2, businesses such as movie theaters and bowling alleys may reopen with safety measures and capacity limits in place.
Starlite Lanes in Dallas opened on Friday, but the new general manager Colleen Sargent-Diarmit didn’t have much time to talk about reopening as she scrambled to restart bowling leagues on Monday.
“We are crazy busy right now,” she said Monday afternoon.
Starlite updated customers on Facebook on Thursday, the day before reopening for bowling.
“We are so excited to open our doors again!” the post read. “Can’t wait to see you all!”
Phase 2 capacity for Starlite is 50 people, so the business would prefer that bowlers make reservations for hourly rentals on lanes.
“Walk-in customers will be given lanes as they are available, however reservations will receive priority,” the new rules read.
Those wanting to go to a movie at a local movie theater will have to wait just a bit longer.
Dallas Cinema and Independence Cinema are looking at reopening in July.
“The first couple of weekends, starting July 3, we will be showing classic family movies before moving to seven days a week and showing more current movies,” Dallas Cinema said in a Facebook post.
Dallas Cinema is selling tickets for “The Goonies” (35th anniversary, July 3-5), “The Empire Strikes Back” (40th anniversary, July 10-12), and “Ghost Busters” (36th anniversary, July 17-19). Classic movie tickets are $5.
Every other row of seating will be blocked out, so assigned seating is required when you buy tickets.
Independence Cinema has its eyes on July 10 as an opening date.
“We’ve had lots of questions wondering about when we will be reopening since Polk County is now in Phase 2,” said theater operators in a social media post. “While we are technically eligible to reopen as of (June 19), we are waiting until new movies start to premiere again.”
The theater plans to show “Unhinged,” “Mulan,” “Broken Hearts Gallery,” and “Tenet” in July, plus some movies that premiered in March.
“Nothing is set in stone, of course, as we will keep you updated on our official reopening date when we know!” the post said.
Restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen for dine-in service at the beginning of Phase 1, but now can stay open until midnight under Phase 2 rules.
Gov. Kate Brown issued a statement on June 17 saying the Polk, Marion and Hood River counties could move to Phase 2 and Multnomah County will begin reopening at Phase 1 as of Friday.
The four counties are now able to move forward following a seven-day pause initiated by the governor last week after COVID-19 case counts increased statewide.
“I instituted the statewide pause because of the rising number of cases in both rural and urban communities. I did this to give public health experts time to assess what factors are driving the spread of the virus and make adjustments to our reopening strategy,” Brown said. “Since then, the Oregon Health Authority has continued to analyze data in the state, including the source of the growth in new cases, hospitalizations, results of contact tracing, and other metrics. Additionally, I have consulted with independent health experts, business leaders, and local elected officials.”
Brown said COVID-19 statistics improved in all four counties over the last week.
“Marion and Polk Counties are seeing a decline in hospitalizations, and Hood River has had only one new hospital admission in the past two weeks. All three counties have implemented timely follow up on cases in the past week,” Brown said. “While Multnomah County has seen an increase in new cases recently, the county has not experienced an uptrend in new hospital admissions, and overall hospitalizations remain well within capacity.”
The movement toward full reopening comes with some new rules, however, including wearing face coverings in indoor public places and dividing up the state into regions for further reopening decisions.
“I will be instituting a requirement to wear face coverings while in indoor public spaces, such as grocery stores and other businesses, for the following counties: Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Hood River, Marion, Polk, and Lincoln,” Brown said. “This mandate will be effective beginning Wednesday, June 24.”
Marion and Polk County will be considered a single region for further reopening decisions.
“Marion and Polk Counties, which each include parts of the city of Salem, will also be treated as a unit going forward,” Brown said. “Both of these regions include a highly-connected urban area, making it difficult to monitor the disease based solely on the contours of county jurisdictional lines.”