Governor Kate Brown today announced that two counties—Marion and Wasco—have succeeded in reducing the spread of COVID-19 sufficiently enough to be removed from the County Watch List. Meanwhile, Jackson County has been added to the Watch List. This brings the total number of counties on the list to eight.
“I want to applaud county officials and community members in Marion and Wasco Counties for their efforts in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. This is yet another example of how we can combat this disease by working together,” said Governor Brown.
Counties are placed on the Watch List when COVID-19 is spreading quickly and public health officials cannot trace that spread to specific sources—creating a potentially dangerous dynamic. Specific markers of this rapid community spread include when there is a sporadic case rate of 50 or more per 100,000 people in the last two weeks and the county has had more than five sporadic cases in the last two weeks (sporadic cases are those that cannot be traced to a source; they indicate community spread). Counties remain on the Watch List for a minimum of three weeks and until their sporadic case rates drop below these thresholds.
The County Watch List allows the state to prioritize resources and assistance to counties that are seeing the broadest spread of COVID-19. When a county is placed on the Watch List, the Oregon Health Authority increases monitoring and communication, and deploys additional technical assistance and resources, such as epidemiological support, case investigation, and contact tracing help.
Governor Brown added: "As always, I'm urging all Oregonians to continue abiding by state orders and guidelines, including maintaining physical distancing, wearing a face covering, and practicing good hygiene. Remember, we are all in this together."
The complete County Watch List now includes the following eight counties: Baker, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Malheur, Morrow, Multnomah, and Umatilla.