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Bowling alleys remain shuttered during phase one reopening

Regarding the gradual reopening of Oregon, do you know any specific impact on bowling alleys or the leagues inside them? Are they umbrellaed under the 25-person gathering limit?

— Thomas, Eagle Point

Bowling alleys remain closed under phase one of Oregon’s plans to gradually reopen from COVID-19 restrictions, Thomas.

Phase one started May 15 in most counties, including Jackson County.

Figuring out whether bowling could resume has been difficult for bowling fans.

Bowling alleys aren’t specifically mentioned in the state’s reopening guidelines. They aren’t classified as gyms, which can reopen with a host of safety precautions.

Restaurants have been told they have to keep their bowling alleys, pool tables and karaoke machines closed during phase one as they resume sit-down dining.

We asked the governor’s office specifically about bowling alley businesses, and here’s what we heard.

“Bowling alleys have not yet been authorized to reopen, which is why they are not otherwise mentioned in any of the current guidance documents. ... We are still in conversations about how bowling alleys can begin to reopen safely, and we will have specific health and safety guidelines for them at that point,” said Charles Boyle, deputy communications director for the office of Gov. Kate Brown.

Phase one of reopening will last until at least June 5 as health experts keep watch for any surge of COVID-19.

If cases don’t spike, Oregon could enter phase two and have further easing of restrictions. Phase three, the last stage, will see the resumption of large gatherings like concerts, festivals and sports with live audiences. Brown previously said she doesn’t want those events with large crowds to start again until a vaccine or effective treatment is available.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.