Six Oregon counties COVID-19 risk levels will be lowered on January 1st

Governor Kate Brown’s office announced six counties in Oregon will see fewer restrictions by Friday due to a lower number of coronavirus cases. 

In the state’s four-tiered “risk level” system, 24 counties will remain at extreme risk, five will be in high risk and seven counties will be at a lower risk level from the period of Jan. 1st to Jan. 14th. In this system, the “high risk” tier is when the county can begin reopening indoor services with some health and safety measures in place.

 

 

Clatsop, Coos, Douglas, Lincoln and Morrow counties are moving from “extreme risk” to “high risk.” Lake County is moving from “moderate risk” to “low risk.” These levels will remain in place until Jan.14, at which point the OHA and governor will change the restrictions based on their current coronavirus numbers.

“After weeks of diligent work by local leaders and public health officials to implement health and safety measures in their communities, this week’s county data is a welcome sign that we are making progress in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon,” Brown said. “The county risk level framework is meant to put us on track to reopen our schools, businesses and communities. It is not easy. Oregon families and businesses have made incredible sacrifices. If we work together, we will see more counties begin to lower their COVID-19 risk levels. If communities let down their guard too early, we could see our hard-won progress unravel just as quickly.”

Although these counties have had their risk levels lowered, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported that — as of Tuesday —new case numbers in the state continue to rise. The number of new cases reported was 713, bringing the state total to 111,227. The number of deaths rose to 1,449, with 16 new deaths on Tuesday.

The OHA also reported that there are currently 527 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 119 patients in the ICU. The state continues to warn residents to not gather for the holidays especially as ICU rates rise and the availability of ICU beds falls.

“Every week, more Oregonians are being vaccinated against this deadly disease,” Brown said. “But, until vaccines are widely available with high participation rates, the surest way to open our communities is to continue practicing the measures we know are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 — wear your mask, keep physical distance from others, avoid gatherings, wash your hands often and stay home when you are sick.”