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Douglas County businesses open under ‘high risk’ rules

The reduced risk level went into effect Friday.

Posted: Jan 1, 2021 6:13 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. – Some businesses rang in the new year by reopening now that Douglas County has been downgraded from “extreme risk” to “high risk.”

The reduced risk level went into effect Friday.

Under “high risk,” restaurants can be open for indoor dine-in, but they're limited to 50 people or 25 percent capacity, whichever is lower. Gyms and indoor entertainment facilities can also open under the same rules.

At Fitness First, members told KEZI 9 News they couldn’t be more excited to be back in the gym. They said it was perfect timing with the new year.

“It’s so refreshing to be back in here,” Braeden Count said. “Get the blood pumping, get the muscles working.”

At Ten Down Bowling Alley, owner Mariah Smith said they spent all week preparing to reopen. They said the 50-person maximum may be tough as their building was meant to fit a lot more.

“We’re here making sure that we watch those numbers, but we didn’t know what to expect from the bowling alley side of things,” said Smith. “The big thing is to make sure people can come in and enjoy themselves and feel safe.”

At Brix Grill in downtown Roseburg, owner Misty Inda-Russell said reopening Friday was the light at the end of the tunnel for her business.

“Guests seem excited, lots of phone calls about the hours and if we’re back to full menu,” she said.

However, in order for Douglas County to stay in “high risk,” they must stay below 200 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days. The Oregon Health Authority re-evaluates the risk levels every two weeks based on those numbers.

With the recent holiday, Inda-Russell said she’s worried the numbers will go back up, forcing them to close again.

“if I were to predict, I would say two weeks from now our numbers will be too high,” she said. “We have big concerns, but we always feel like we have to do what we can to help ourselves.”

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