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Coos County restaurants excited for downgrade to 'high risk' level

This will be the first time Coos County moves from extreme risk to high risk in more than two months.

Posted: Apr 7, 2021 7:56 PM
Updated: Apr 7, 2021 7:59 PM

COOS BAY, Ore. – It’s an exciting time for Coos County restaurant and bar owners as they prepare to reopen for indoor dining now that the county is moving back into the high risk category on Friday.

This will be the first time Coos County moves from extreme risk to high risk in more than two months.

The last time the county was in high risk was in January. However, it only lasted a week. That meant restaurants and bars had to shut down indoor dining once again.

At Front Street Provisioners in Coos Bay, chef-partner Chanupa Uha Manee said they’re excited to welcome back their customers for indoor dining.

“I’m looking forward to seeing our guests without their coats because they’ve been having to sit outside,” he said.

However, they’re worried it won’t last forever.

If Coos County eventually moves back into extreme risk, Uha Manee said they’re ready to adjust.

“I think we’re just waiting to see what happens and we’re going to roll with whatever happens here,” he said.

Coos Health and Wellness assistant director Eric Gleason said he’s proud of the community for doing its part to get the risk level down.
That’s why he said it’s not time to get complacent.

“We should be excited we made it back to high risk,” said Gleason. “It’s great. But we need to make sure we’re doing it safely.”

However, at EZ Thai Restaurant in Coos Bay, owner Surakit Osathanon said he’s confident they’ll stay in high risk based on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout so far.

“I don’t think we’ll go back to extreme because the vaccine is being distributed,” he said. “There (seems to be) a lot of supply.”

Under high risk guidelines, restaurants and bars can be opening for indoor dining at 25 percent capacity or 50 people max, whichever comes first.

Coos County’s risk level will be reevaluated on April 20.

Beginning this week, for counties to move into or stay in the extreme risk category, they must reach metrics for case and positivity rates, in addition to new factors: patients with COVID-19 occupying 300 hospital beds or more and a 15% increase in the seven-day average over the past week. If counties do not meet this metric, they will be in high risk, Gov. Kate Brown said.

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