Indoor dining returns to Lane County

After nearly three months, Lane County transitioned from the extreme coronavirus risk category to the high-risk category on Friday, opening the door to limited indoor dining.

Posted: Feb 26, 2021 8:11 AM

EUGENE, Ore. – After nearly three months, Lane County transitioned from the extreme coronavirus risk category to the high-risk category on Friday, opening the door to limited indoor dining and other changes.

At Morning Glory Café on Willamette Street, owner Josh Aldersong said the change will allow the café to have up to 20 people inside. While it’s not a large amount, he said it will make significant difference.

“It helps our business immensely. We get to be able to have the tables turning over and having outside seating through the winter months is very unusual for us. To be able to offer some space for inside seating is going to be great,” Aldersong said.

Since the closure, the café has been offering outdoor dining and take-out, two alternatives that have been enough to keep revenue flowing.

“We’re feeling good. There’s always a little bit of nervousness that comes after these closures to make sure we’re ready for customers to be back,” Aldersong said.

The café is asking customers who choose dine-in to limit their stay to 30 minutes once they receive their food.

Oregon's high risk level allows indoor dining at up to 25% capacity or a 50-person limit, whichever is smaller. It also allows gyms and fitness centers to allow up to 25% capacity or a 50-person limit.

According to Lane County Public Health, the shift to high risk reflects a trend of decreasing case counts and hard work from community members who are social distancing, masking and taking other precautions.

Officials said that residents should still exercise caution and seek to continue lowering the case count to pre-winter levels that were still much lower than the current weekly rate averaging from 30 to 50 cases.

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