State Watch

15 Oregon counties moving to ‘extreme risk’ category as COVID-19 hospitalizations surge

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Oregon’s governor announced Wednesday that more than a dozen state counties would move into an “extreme risk” category that involves new countywide restrictions on local businesses and public life in an effort to blunt surging COVID-19 case rates.

A statement on the governor’s website indicated that 15 counties would be moved to the “extreme risk” category, including Multnomah County where the state’s largest city, Portland, is located. Marion County, which includes the state capital of Salem, was also moved to the “extreme risk” category.

“If we don’t act now, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other health care providers in Oregon will be stretched to their limits treating severe cases of COVID-19,” Gov. Kate Brown (D) said in the news release. “Today’s announcement will save lives and help stop COVID-19 hospitalizations from spiking even higher. With new COVID-19 variants widespread in so many of our communities, it will take all of us working together to bring this back under control.”

Brown added that Oregonians should get vaccinated as soon as they can get an appointment, calling it the best way to combat the virus’s spread.

“The fastest way to lift health and safety restrictions is for Oregonians to get vaccinated as quickly as possible and follow the safety measures we know stop this virus from spreading. I recognize the burden these restrictions place on Oregon businesses and working families,” she continued. “My goal is to lift these restrictions as soon as it is safely possible, and keep Oregon on the path for lifting most health and safety requirements by the end of June so we can fully reopen our economy.”

The state confirmed 740 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, lower than the seven-day average but more than were recorded a day earlier. The state is seeing its rate of cases slowly approach 1,000 new cases per day, a number the state hit for the first time in months last Thursday when 1,005 cases were reported in a 24-hour period. 

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Kate Brown

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