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Oregon changes risk level guidance, pre-empting slide back to 'Extreme Risk' for some counties

Josephine and Klamath counties were poised to move back to Extreme Risk status later this week, but Oregon officials have decided to change the state's criteria instead.

Posted: Apr 6, 2021 1:20 PM
Updated: Apr 6, 2021 1:32 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon counties facing a return to "Extreme Risk" status will be spared the state's harshest coronavirus restrictions after officials decided to change their criteria on Tuesday.

Public health officials in Josephine County and Klamath County signaled earlier this week that they would likely move to "Extreme Risk" status on Friday. Both counties had been placed on a two-week extension amid rising cases — Josephine County from High Risk status, and Klamath County from Moderate Risk.

Under the new criteria, Extreme Risk will be determined by statewide COVID-19 hospitalization levels in addition to case counts and percent of test positivity. For any county to reach Extreme Risk, Oregon must have 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 without the statewide trigger will be assigned to High Risk. Governor Brown's office identified 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.


RELATED: California plans to lift most pandemic restrictions June 15


"COVID-19 hospitalizations are a key indicator of severe illness in Oregon communities," Brown's office said. "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 isn't the first time that Oregon officials have changed the conditions for the risk level system as counties faced a return to Extreme RIsk. The concept of a two-week extension was added at the beginning of March, and allowed Jackson County to remain at High Risk in spite of seeing more cases over a two-week period than that risk level allowed.

Extreme Risk restrictions also got a minor tweak at the end of January. Instead of totally shutting down all gyms and fitness centers within an Extreme Risk county, the updated guidance allowed for very limited capacity in these businesses, dependent on the size of each facility.

From April 9 through April 22, there will be 14 counties in the High Risk level, six at Moderate Risk, and 16 at Lower Risk. During that period, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Curry counties will all be at High Risk. Lake County remains at Lower Risk.

“We are at a critical moment in this pandemic as we face more contagious variants of COVID-19 taking hold in our communities,” said Governor Brown. “Now more than ever it’s imperative that we all continue wearing masks, maintain physical distance, stay home when sick, and get the vaccine when it’s available to you.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 173626

Reported Deaths: 2457
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34641566
Washington23309229
Marion20037299
Clackamas15216204
Lane11478144
Jackson9846127
Umatilla795383
Deschutes698772
Linn410763
Yamhill407074
Malheur342558
Polk341752
Klamath340859
Josephine304262
Douglas302765
Benton272518
Jefferson205932
Coos196631
Columbia153326
Union141124
Lincoln129720
Wasco128628
Hood River112429
Morrow107815
Clatsop8838
Crook86819
Baker85114
Curry5919
Tillamook5763
Lake4137
Grant4044
Harney3046
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam551
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3714587

Reported Deaths: 60922
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122811823601
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2944644544
San Diego2745663662
Orange2687624886
Santa Clara1167722013
Kern1077641317
Sacramento1010581646
Fresno1004311642
Alameda850891475
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa66839781
Stanislaus603061028
Tulare49383829
Monterey43260352
San Mateo41050560
San Francisco35947517
Santa Barbara33830446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29632311
Imperial27920718
Kings22755245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16234239
Santa Cruz15554203
Marin13851226
Yolo13547199
Shasta11677217
Butte11529196
El Dorado9688109
Napa965479
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito596963
Lassen566624
Tehama543056
Nevada444775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador361646
Humboldt358737
Lake339943
Glenn235425
Colusa219216
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4197
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned610
Medford
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 66°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
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Clear
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Medford
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