Updated May 23, 2020

Rules and Orders

Governor Brown’s latest executive order outlines a plan to re-open the economy in phases. It encourages Oregonians to stay close to home and to continue healthy practices to stay safe. 

Multnomah County is currently in Oregon’s baseline phase of reopening. We have not yet entered Phase 1.

Until further notice in Multnomah County: 

  • Restaurants, bars, and other establishments must limit food or beverages to carry-out and delivery only with no on-site consumption permitted.

  • Food service at health care facilities, shelters, workplaces, and other essential facilities will continue.

On May 15 the Oregon Health Authority issued Mask and Face Covering Guidance for Business, Transit, and the Public (PDF). It says that businesses, including restaurants, must require employees to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering, unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies.

We are monitoring the situation, and will update our guidance as more information becomes available.

Guidance

Oregon General Guidance for Employers on COVID-19

What can I sell?

Mobile food carts and food cart pods

  • Food carts can still sell food, but only for takeout.
  • Food cart pods can remain open as long as you can keep 6 feet physical distancing and there is no on-site seating.

Hotels and bed and breakfasts

  • Serving food as a continental breakfast or buffet is not allowed at this time. 
  • You can only provide food as room service or for takeout. 
  • Customers may consume food in their room, but not in the dining area. 

Restaurants

Restaurants can still sell food but only for takeout or delivery. No additional licensing is required for delivery.

Restaurants can also sell certain goods and supplies to consumers for purchase or donation. Allowed products include household goods, such as toilet paper, paper towels, general cleaning supplies, and food items such as non-perishable goods and unopened containers of milk and dairy products, packaged cheeses, raw meats and poultry. You must still follow labeling requirements.

Labeling requirements

OHA Guidance for restaurants selling raw and bulk foods

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Food Preparation

Are there any additional requirements I need to follow to prepare for delivery?

No. Just follow general food safety practices when preparing food. Keep cars clean, limit interactions with customers and remind them to wash their hands before eating. The goal should be “contact-less delivery” to protect employees and customers.

Should I wear a mask when preparing food?

The Oregon Health Authority's Mask and Face Covering Guidance for Business, Transit, and the Public (PDF) says that businesses, including restaurants, must require employees to wear a face covering, unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies. Face coverings are NOT a replacement for physical distancing, food safety and proper preventive hygiene practices. Face coverings are one more action we can take to protect one another.

Should food services be following strict, no bare-hand contact of prepared ready-to-eat foods?

Food services should limit as much bare-hand contact as possible with ready-to-eat foods.

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Takeout & Delivery

Only people who are in good health should prepare and deliver food. All food service and delivery staff must wash their hands often with warm water and soap.

Upon delivery, employees should set food packages on the customer’s doorstep and step back 6 feet after knocking. We also recommend:

  • Restaurants and diners consider using a contactless business model that requires limited or no interaction between the restaurant, delivery service, and the customer. 

  • Once a customer has their food, they should remember to wash their hands before eating.

  • Anyone concerned about the packaging might consider transferring their food to a plate or bowl, disposing of the delivery container and then washing their hands.

  • The Oregon Health Authority's Mask and Face Covering Guidance for Business, Transit, and the Public (PDF) says that businesses, including restaurants, must require employees to wear a face covering, unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies. Face coverings are NOT a replacement for physical distancing, food safety and proper preventive hygiene practices. Face coverings are one more action we can take to protect one another.

Do I need a special placard on my car, when going to work or if I drive for work?

No. There is no special documentation or placards for people going to work or permitted activities. 

Do I need documentation from my employer stating I am going to work?

No. Law enforcement is not asking or requiring for any type of special paperwork from your employer.

What are acceptable takeout and grab-and-go methods?

  • You can take customer orders by phone or in-person. Follow physical distancing guidelines by keeping 6 feet apart for in-person orders.
  • Customers may stand in line as long as staff can monitor the line to maintain 6-foot physical distancing. It’s also recommended you place signs.
  • All beverages must be filled by employees. No self-service beverages or customer refills.
  • Give single-use items like napkins and condiments directly to the customer instead of putting them in a self-service area.

Can customers walk through the dining room to get a to-go order? Or should a table be set up near the door?

Customers can come into the facility but may not consume food on site.

Does the prohibition of eating food inside the facility apply to outdoor seating areas as well?

Yes. Customers cannot order takeout food and sit in outdoor seating areas and eat the food. It must be consumed off the premises.

Can a customer pay with cash?

Yes.

Can a customer buy a beer or soda and drink it while waiting for their food?

You can only sell food and drinks for takeout. Customers can come into the facility but may not consume drinks on site.

Can a customer order food from inside their car at a drive-in?

Yes, this is considered food delivery.

Should the facility only have individually wrapped straws available for customers?

Limiting all interactions from customers with all single-service items should be encouraged. This could be through wrapped products or by having employees dispense them instead of putting single-service items and utensils out for customers.

Can Styrofoam containers be used for takeout during the emergency?

Continue to follow local ordinances. The City of Portland’s polystyrene foam container ban is still in effect.

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Employees & Symptoms

What are the known transmissions of COVID-19?

The virus is spread mainly from person to person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It may be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your own mouth, nose or possibly your eyes.

I’m showing symptoms. Should I stay home?

We recommend anyone who is feeling ill stay home.

My employee is telling me they have symptoms. Should I send them home?

Yes.

What should I do if I was in close contact with someone with COVID-19 while they were ill but I am NOT sick?

Monitor your health and stay home at the first sign of illness. Monitor your symptoms for 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the person with COVID-19. 

As a precaution, you should avoid contact with people who are at higher risk for severe illness, which includes those 65 years or older, people who are pregnant and those with chronic medical conditions. Do not use rideshare services or public transportation, and avoid public places for 14 days.

How do I know if I was exposed?

Food service employees who may have been exposed to a coworker that tested positive for COVID-19 will be notified by:

  • Their employer:

    • After the employee who tested positive notifies the employer of their diagnosis; and

    • After the employer is contacted by the health department as part of a disease investigation; and  

  • The employee may also be contacted directly by the health department if further disease investigation is required.  

COVID-19 is widespread in our community. You may not know if you were exposed to a person with COVID-19 unless you are considered a close contact of an infected person who has tested positive for the virus. It is important to note that many people will be infected with COVID-19 and not show any symptoms or will only have mild illness. 

Close contact with an infected person poses the highest risk of disease spread. 

Close contact includes:

  • Living in the same household as a person who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who has tested positive for the virus.
  • Prolonged exposure to others in working in conditions where it is impossible to maintain 6-feet of distance between you or others. In work settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings appropriate for your industry are recommended by the CDC. 
  • Caring for a person who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 or is confirmed to have COVID-19. 
  • Touching or being exposed to bodily fluids of a person showing symptoms of COVID-19 or is confirmed to have COVID-19 through coughing, sneezing, kiss or coming into contact with viral droplets that can live on surfaces such as door knobs, shared utensils, work surfaces, etc. 

I was with my cousin last weekend and he has COVID-19. Should I stay home? As an employer if I hear about this should I send them home?

Call your health care provider to decide if you need to be seen.

If an employee at a restaurant is diagnosed with COVID-19, does the restaurant have to completely shut down (and all employees with close contact self-isolate for 2 weeks)?

No. Please contact your inspector or our office for further advice (foodsafety@multco.us or 503-988-3400). 

If a food service employee has a member of their household with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19,  do they have to report this to the manager or supervisor?

Yes. Food service employees who live with a family or other household member who has tested positive for COVID-19 are legally mandated by Oregon law (OAR 333-019-1000 and OAR 333-150) report this information to their manager or supervisor. In addition, they must: 

If a food service employee has tested positive for COVID-19 do employers have to report this information? 

Yes. If a food service employee tests positive for  COVID-19 employers are legally mandated by Oregon law (OAR 333-019-1000 and OAR 333-150) to: 

  • Work with public health to determine which employees had close, prolonged contact with the employee; 

  • Follow all applicable laws and regulations to maintain confidentiality and protect personal health information of the employee who is ill. 

If a food service employee goes to a doctor, will a communicable disease nurse contact the manager or supervisor? What can the restaurant expect next?

It depends. If an employee seeks health care for possible symptoms of COVID-19, employers will not be notified. This is considered protected health information. 

However, if a health care provider determines that testing for the COVID-19 is necessary and the food service employee tests positive: 

  • The food service employee is legally required to report their positive diagnosis to their employer

  • The employer may call the area inspector or email foodsafety@multco.us for advice. 

  • The employer will be contacted by the Communicable Disease Services, if there was an exposure at the workplace; and 

  • Based on the care plan, date of exposure and severity of illness, the health department and health care provider will determine when the ill employee can safely return to work

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Other Facilities

Are senior centers required to close their dining areas?

Yes. Many seniors rely on senior centers for meals, but they are also the most vulnerable to COVID-19. You can still offer food for takeout or delivery. Be sure to follow food safety practices and make sure it’s packaged safely.

Can a facility keep the Oregon Lottery machine area open and continue to operate?

The governor’s order is specific to food provided to the public. Contact the Oregon Lottery to determine whether the lottery machines can continue to be used by customers.

Are pools and spas required to close now?

Yes, all pools and spas are closed per the executive order 20-25 issued on 5/14/2020.

Are hotels and motels still open?

Yes

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Resources

National Restaurant Association

Financial Resource for businesses>>

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Contact Us

For concerns or questions, contact your health inspector or email foodsafety@multco.us.

Anyone who knows about a workplace safety or health hazard may report unsafe conditions to OSHA (Oregon Safety and Health Administration) at 800-922-2689.