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Gov. Brown says Extreme Risk counties can move back to High Risk on Friday

Governor Kate Brown announced on Tuesday that the 15 Oregon counties under Extreme Risk will be able to step back down after a week on the heightened restrictions.

Posted: May 4, 2021 5:18 PM
Updated: May 4, 2021 6:20 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown announced on Tuesday that the 15 Oregon counties currently on Extreme Risk status will be able to step back down after a week on the heightened restrictions — a move that will apply to Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties.

The change will go into effect on Friday, May 7, allowing the counties that jumped to Extreme Risk last Friday to resume High Risk status. In all, 24 Oregon counties will be at High Risk, four at Moderate, and eight at Lower Risk (see the full list here).

In a statement, Brown's office said that the seven-day average increase for hospitalized COVID-19 patients dropped below 15 percent, putting the state below the threshold outlined in early April. She said she does not anticipate that any counties will return to the state's highest level of restrictions "for the duration of this pandemic."

According to the Oregon Health Authority's latest update, COVID-19 hospitalizations have not significantly dropped, only plateaued. The agency currently lists 345 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, with 79 in intensive care. Officials triggered the move to Extreme Risk for counties with high rate of spread after the state surpassed 300 hospitalized patients.

OHA said that the total number of COVID-19 positive patient "bed days" over the last week was 2,371, a 14.9 increase over the previous seven days — and just under the 15 percent wire established in early April.


RELATED: Gov. Brown defends Extreme Risk decision: 'As your Governor, I chose to save lives'


Stepping down to High Risk is a significant development — and no doubt a bewildering one — for restaurants and other businesses in counties that were under Extreme Risk restrictions since last Friday. It means that restaurants can reopen indoor dining, while venues and fitness establishments can increase capacity again.

Governor Brown accompanied the announcement with the following statement:


“Let me be clear: across the state, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still high, and Oregon is not out of the woods yet. However, we have met the hospitalization metric established by our health experts for counties to return to High Risk. From the beginning, I have said that returning counties to the Extreme Risk level was about preserving hospital capacity and saving lives. With our statewide hospitalization rate stabilizing, our hospitals should have the capacity to continue treating patients with severe cases of COVID-19 and other serious medical conditions in the coming weeks.

“Based on today’s numbers, I am keeping my commitment to Oregonians. Beginning Friday, all counties in Extreme Risk will return to High Risk. With Oregonians continuing to get vaccinated each week, my expectation is that we will not return to Extreme Risk again for the duration of this pandemic.

“I know this will bring relief to many across the state. However, the lifting of Extreme Risk health and safety measures comes with great personal responsibility for us all. If Oregonians continue to keep up their guard, follow High Risk health and safety measures, and get vaccinated as fast as possible, we should see our COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates decline. I’d like to thank Oregonians for taking this surge seriously for the last several weeks. It’s because of you that our hospitals have not been overwhelmed.

“Today, we also received the welcome news from the Biden-Harris administration that they will be reallocating unused vaccines to the states that need them. Oregon will ask for the maximum allowed, which will help us to get shots in arms faster. Vaccinations are still our best path to protecting our loved ones, and staying on track to fully reopen our economy by the end of June.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5061240

Reported Deaths: 74159
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152548627128
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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Medford
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Brookings
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