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Gov. Brown moves Malheur County back to Phase I reopening status

Governor Kate Brown said that Malheur County, which has been on the state's COVID-19 'watch list,' continues to see rapid spread of the virus.

Posted: Aug 13, 2020 4:10 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2020 4:20 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon's southeastern-most county must roll back its coronavirus reopening status to Phase I, Governor Kate Brown announced on Thursday.

The change in Malheur County is effective Monday. Brown's office said that Malheur County will remain in Phase I for at least 21 days, with state officials checking in on a weekly basis.

Malheur County has been on the state's COVID-19 "watch list" since July 3, and Brown's office said that the virus has been spreading rapidly ever since, even with contact tracing support from the Oregon Health Authority.


RELATED: Lake County removed from Oregon's COVID-19 'watch list'


“Over the past month, COVID-19 cases in Malheur County have risen so much that restrictions must be put back in place or we risk further illnesses and death in the region,” said Governor Brown. “I know this change is difficult, but immediate action is necessary in order to reduce the spread of the disease and protect all those who call Malheur County home.”

As of Thursday, OHA reported that Malheur County had 851 coronavirus cases and 3,484 negative tests, in addition to 15 deaths. The county's case rate of 266 per 10,000 people is the third highest in the state, and Malheur's test positivity rate is 26 percent — far higher than the state's overall rate of roughly 6 percent.

More than half of Malheur's most recent cases were considered "sporadic" and could not be traced back to a known source.

Recreational sports, swimming pools, and events and venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys, and arcades remain closed in Phase I. Non-essential local travel is allowed, and personal services businesses are allowed to operate with health and safety measures in place.


RELATED: Oregon's Union County recommends residents return to Phase I following outbreak


Restaurants and bars are open for dine-in service until 10 p.m. with health and safety measures in place. Indoor social gatherings remain capped at 10 people as long as physical distancing is maintained, while other gatherings — including faith-based, civic, and cultural groups — are limited to 50 indoors and 50 outdoors.

“A step back like this is a reminder for all of us that this disease will be with us for the foreseeable future. We must continue to take measures to slow its spread or we risk further restrictions. Oregonians must continue to wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing, and practice good hygiene,” Brown said.

Malheur's rollback isn't the first in the state. Umatilla and Morrow counties were previously moved back by Governor Brown, while Union County opted for a voluntarily rollback after a large outbreak.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32820

Reported Deaths: 543
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7184138
Marion468394
Washington451960
Umatilla297641
Clackamas240861
Malheur162723
Lane121017
Jackson11485
Deschutes84012
Yamhill75713
Jefferson5348
Polk53015
Linn52213
Morrow4996
Lincoln48213
Union4462
Benton3106
Wasco2923
Klamath2802
Hood River2510
Douglas2324
Clatsop2120
Josephine1982
Columbia1711
Coos1570
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook530
Lake330
Curry310
Wallowa311
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 809890

Reported Deaths: 15606
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2678016514
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino54478925
Orange533151216
San Diego46610776
Kern31947369
Fresno28336382
Sacramento22269406
Alameda21189406
Santa Clara21153312
San Joaquin20194441
Contra Costa16572205
Stanislaus16452354
Tulare15970263
Ventura12729150
Imperial11835317
San Francisco11143101
Monterey988471
San Mateo9843150
Santa Barbara9061113
Merced8872142
Kings756980
Sonoma7412122
Marin6716118
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer357745
San Luis Obispo354629
Butte282744
Yolo280355
Santa Cruz23589
Sutter170511
Napa168113
San Benito134511
Yuba11537
El Dorado11274
Mendocino93118
Shasta85617
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5605
Lake54911
Nevada5347
Colusa5296
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
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