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Business owner says ignoring COVID-19 guidelines will hurt small communities


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    ESTACADA, OR (KPTV) — Over the weekend, some small businesses and restaurants in Clackamas County reopened under the High-Risk Tier COVID-19 guidelines. However, the county is still designated under the Extreme Risk tier by Governor Kate Brown.

About a handful of businesses moved forward with the reopening, and some local leaders were encouraging them to do so as well, like Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam, but not all businesses are on board with this.

“I happen to believe in science, you know, I support science and I trust that these statewide mandates are in our best interest,” said Jenny Beaudoin, owner of Harmony Restaurant and Bakery. “It feels irresponsible to me that people would be dismissing that science.

She believes that reopening too soon could hurt these small communities even more in the long run.

“The reality is that numbers are still really high, and people are dying,” Beaudoin said. “I don’t think that this sort of rogue behavior of dismissing those recommendations is helping us potentially. It’s putting our whole community at higher risk.”

Pulliam has been pushing for these businesses to reopen under the High-Risk tier, which allows indoor dining. He said the movement is about businesses that are at risk of closing for good.

“This is about businesses who don’t really have a choice. Their decision is between breaking the mandate the governor put on them or losing their business,” he said.

Beaudoin said she empathizes and feels for those businesses.

“I understand the desperation, and I feel that moving quickly and dismissing science is not the quickest way for us to come out of this,” she said.

The Oregon Health Authority said that transmission of COVID-19 in restaurants and bars overlaps with small gatherings, so they can’t exactly pinpoint where transmission occurs.

They released a statement saying:

“Restaurants and bars pose risks because people take off their masks to eat and drink, and restaurants tend to be places where people talk more, which produces more droplets and aerosols that are potentially infectious, and many restaurants and bars are smaller spaces.”

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