Safe Adjustments Needed to Regulations for Restaurant and Lodging Establishments
Wilsonville, OR– The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is convinced two key regulations are ready for adjustments based on recurring COVID-19 weekly workplace outbreak reports. The weekly reports, available through the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) website, consistently show negligible outbreaks occurring in foodservice and lodging operations.
“We review the weekly reports from OHA religiously and can see the care being taken by our operators in controlled and highly regulated environments they manage,” said Jason Brandt, President & CEO for the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. “It is time, regardless of county phase, to allow operators the ability to stay open until midnight and to allow larger venues with ample square footage more flexibility in safely managing their capacity.”
Currently, the Oregon Health Authority requires all foodservice operations in Oregon to close at 10pm regardless of their current phase of operation. In addition, all foodservice and event venues including lodging event space must limit their indoor capacity to 100 people including staff.
“On the surface we realize a 100-person limitation sounds like an appropriate preventative measure to mitigate virus spread in Oregon,” said Brandt. “However, large scale venues have the ability to provide ample physical distance between associated parties of 10 or less and can accommodate more employees with hours while still operating safe, controlled environments.”
ORLA is focused on facilitating communication between the Governor’s office and small businesses operating restaurants and lodging establishments across Oregon. A recent push this past week to communicate stories with the Governor’s office resulted in over 100 small business stories being shared about how a midnight curfew would help save restaurants. ORLA hopes to share similar stories about the impact of the 100-person indoor cap as well and the ripple effect it has on local economies throughout the state.
“Some of the loudest voices in our industry on the importance of removing the 100-person indoor cap rule are coming from businesses who don’t have space to accommodate over 100,” said Brandt. “This showcases the ripple effect that hits smaller businesses when larger venues can’t accommodate larger groups in a community. Without the additional flexibility there is less activity and commerce in local communities and our operators rely on that foot traffic to stay afloat.”
For more information on the efforts of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association please visit OregonRLA.org.
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###The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon, which before COVID-19 provided over 180,000 paychecks to working Oregonians. Currently, approximately 55,000 of those workers, or 30%, do not have work available to return to.