MEDFORD, Ore. -- Local public health officials report Jackson County will be moving into the High Risk category from Extreme Risk under Oregon's coronavirus guidance. This change is anticipated to go into effect on Friday, February 26.
Jackson County Public Health said that the move to a lower risk level is prompted by a decrease in the COVID-19 case rate to below 200 cases per 100,000 population.
For the two weeks from February 7 through February 20, Jackson County had a case rate of 174.9 cases per 100,000 population.
“This is hopeful news that Jackson County has a decrease in cases and able to move to a lower risk category,” said Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County Health Officer. “Even though we are seeing a decrease in cases and moving to a lower risk category, it remains critical that we continue to wear a mask, wash our hands, watch our distance, stay home when we are sick, and get vaccinated against COVID-19 when it's our turn.”
In all, 16 Oregon counties are set to improve in risk level on Friday, 10 of those stepping down from Extreme Risk. By the end of the week, there will be five counties at Extreme Risk, 11 at High Risk, 10 at Moderate Risk, and 10 at Lower Risk.
In southern Oregon, Josephine County will remain on Extreme Risk. Jackson and Klamath will be at High Risk, and Curry will move up to join Lake County at Moderate Risk.
“For the second time in a row, we are seeing great progress in stopping the spread of COVID-19 across Oregon and saving lives," said Governor Kate Brown in a statement. "Oregonians continue to step up and make smart choices. While these county movements are welcome news, we must continue to take seriously health and safety measures, especially as more businesses reopen and we start to get out more. As we see infection rates going down and vaccinations ramping up, now is not the time to let down our guard. Continue to wear your masks, keep physical distance, and avoid indoor gatherings."
What will change under the High-Risk level?
- Eating and Drinking Establishments: Indoor dining is allowed. Indoor not to exceed 25% maximum capacity occupancy or 50 people, whichever is smaller. Outdoor dining not to exceed 75 people maximum. Indoor and outdoor seating: 6 people per party and per table maximum, limit 2 households. 11:00 pm closing time.
- Indoor Entertainment Establishments: Maximum 25% occupancy or 50 people total, whichever is smaller. 11:00 pm closing time.
- Indoor Recreation & Fitness: Maximum 25% occupancy or 50 people total, whichever is smaller. Indoor full-contact sports prohibited.
- Social and At-Home Gathering Size (Indoor): Maximum 6 people. Recommended limited: 2 household
- Social and At-Home Gathering Size (Outdoor): Maximum 8 people.