Six Counties Moving Back Into High Risk


Six counties in Oregon are moving backwards in the COVID-19 reopening.

Multnomah, Clackamas, Deschutes, Tillamook, Linn and Klamath counties will move to the High Risk category.

That means indoor occupancy at restaurants returns to 25% and outdoor capacity is limited to 75 people. he changes take effect on Friday.

The counties in the Extreme Risk category, Coos and Curry, will move to High Risk.

County Risk Levels

New statewide metric added for determining Extreme Risk level

COVID-19 hospitalizations are a key indicator of severe illness in Oregon communities. As vaccine distribution increases, case counts and percent positivity will not be adequate indicators on their own for measuring the threat COVID-19 poses to public health. This week, Oregon is adding a statewide hospitalization metric for moving to Extreme Risk.

Beginning this week, for counties to move to (or remain in) Extreme Risk, they must meet the county metrics for case rates and percent positivity, plus a new statewide metric: COVID-19 positive patients occupying 300 hospital beds or more, and a 15% increase in the seven-day average over the past week. Counties that meet the criteria for Extreme Risk but for the statewide trigger will be assigned to High Risk. This week there are three counties that qualify for Extreme Risk based on their county metrics, but are assigned High Risk because the statewide trigger has not been met: Josephine, Klamath, and Tillamook.

Four counties enter two-week caution period

The two-week caution period applies to counties facing backward movement. Counties that reduced their COVID-19 spread enough to move down in risk level in the previous two-week period, but see their numbers go back up in the next two-week period, are given a two-week caution period to re-focus efforts to drive back down creeping case numbers and give local businesses additional certainty on their plans for operating.

This week, the caution period applies to five counties:

  • Baker County qualifies for Extreme Risk but is given a two-week caution period at Lower Risk because it moved down from Moderate Risk in the last movement period.
  • Columbia County qualifies for Extreme Risk but is given a two-week caution period at Moderate Risk because it moved down from High Risk in the last movement period.
  • Lane County qualifies for Moderate Risk but is given a two-week caution period at Lower Risk because it moved down from Moderate Risk in the last movement period.
  • Polk County qualifies for High Risk but is given a two-week caution period at Moderate Risk because it moved down from High Risk in the last movement period.
  • Yamhill County qualifies for Moderate Risk but is given a two-week caution period at Lower Risk because it moved down from Moderate Risk in the last movement period.

The Oregon Health Authority will examine and publish county data weekly. County risk levels will be reassigned every two weeks. The first week's data will provide a "warning week" to prepare counties for potential risk level changes. The next assignment of risk levels will be announced April 20 and take effect April 23.