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Deschutes County enters ‘Lower Risk’ Covid-19 rules Friday; residents, businesses react

'That just means that we’re moving in the right direction'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Starting Friday, many businesses in Deschutes County will be able to operate at a higher capacity as the county moves from "High Risk" to "Lower Risk" Covid-19 restrictions.

Bend resident Stefanie Bolivear said Wednesday she’s looking forward to the loosened restrictions on businesses, especially in entertainment.

“I’m definitely looking forward to entertainment coming back, live music -- you know, outdoor venues. I probably will not participate in indoor venues personally -- not yet at least,” Bolivear said.

But Bolivear says despite the relaxed rules, she isn't going to drop her guard.

"I’m still going to wear my mask, I’m going to socially distance and follow guidelines that are important to me,” she said.

Some of the biggest changes taking place on businesses Friday are the number of people allowed, indoors and outdoors.

The times businesses can operate is also changing for some.

Eating and Drinking Establishments will now be allowed to have up to 300 people dining outside and allowed to stay open until midnight.

Indoor Recreation and Fitness Establishments will be allowed to operate at a 50% occupancy, compared to the 10% they are currently allowed.

Indoor Entertainment Establishments will also be allowed to operate at 50% occupancy.

Outdoor Entertainment Establishments such as zoos and amphitheaters will be at 50% as well.

Faith Institutions, Funeral Homes, and Cemeteries will be allowed to operate at 75% occupancy.

Kayla Heuton, general manager of Bend Brewing Company, is looking forward to the changes.

“If we’re going down into Lower Risk, that just means that we’re moving in the right direction,” Heuton said.

Heuton added that it will also help create a better customer experience.

“Being able to allow more people, we won’t have to regulate as much, which is really nice. We won’t have to police people, standing over (those) sitting," Heuton said.

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Leslie Cano

Leslie Cano is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Leslie here.


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