More Oregon Counties Deemed 'Extreme Risk' Of COVID-19 Spread

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Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday announced new coronavirus risk levels for counties across the state, shifting three additional counties on the coast and in eastern Oregon to the highest concern level.

Twenty-six of Oregon’s 36 counties are now classified as an “extreme risk” to COVID-19 spread, the highest possible level.

Baker, Clatsop, Coos and Morrow counties were elevated to the highest risk level, joining the Portland area and all counties in the Willamette Valley. Effective Jan. 15, they will face bans or closures of indoor dining, gyms and theaters, among other businesses. The highest risk level also puts a cap on religious service attendance and other restrictions.

“We are reminded that health and safety measures continue to be of utmost importance, even when we slow the spread of COVID-19,” Brown said in a statement. “I want to remind all Oregonians to continue to do their part by abiding by the health and safety guidelines in place. 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.”

Curry County was downgraded from extreme risk to moderate risk, while Lake County was elevated from lower to moderate risk levels. Baker was originally listed as extreme two weeks ago, then removed, now it is officially added.

Counties are classified based on their size and certain COVID-19 factors such as percent positive test rate over a two-week period. The risk levels remain in place until Jan. 28.

-- Andrew Theen; [email protected]; 503-294-4026; @andrewtheen

This story was originally published by The Oregonian/OregonLive and is posted here through an agreement among a dozen media outlets to share pandemic-related content.

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