KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Klamath County will likely shoot back up to "Extreme Risk" coronavirus restrictions on Friday after several weeks of climbing cases, according to public health officials.
Klamath County Public Health said that the county saw 109 new cases over the previous week, adding 13 cases on Saturday and 30 more by Monday.
With cases rising over the past several weeks, Klamath County was kept on "Moderate Risk" for an additional two-week pause. But public health officials indicate that cases have continued to spike enough that Klamath County will be placed on "Extreme Risk" effective Friday, with an official announcement coming on Tuesday.
"In the last two weeks, Klamath County had 179 cases," health officials said. "High risk is between 68 and 135 cases, with moderate between 34 and 67."
According to Klamath County Public Health, the increase in cases is directly linked to multiple large households all testing positive, in addition to a "large community event" that produced positive cases.
The change back to Extreme Risk will be a relatively dramatic one — prohibiting indoor dining and greatly reducing capacity at many other businesses, including gyms and fitness centers.
Monday marked Oregon's next COVID-19 vaccine eligibility date, opening up appointments to frontline workers and their families, people 16 and older with underlying health conditions, and people in multi-generational households.
Sky Lakes Medical Center says it will hold first-dose vaccination clinics on Thursday and Friday on the fourth floor of Sky Lakes Medical Center. Appointments can be made by calling 1-833-606-4370 weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. No walk-in slots or on-site appointments are available.
"Oregon Gov. Kate Brown last week expanded eligibility to qualifying people 16 and older, however, only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for the younger group," the healthcare provider said. "Sky Lakes expects confirmation of its allocation of the approved vaccine late Thursday and may be able to open appointments for the Friday vaccination event."
Klamath Health Partnership is also hosting a vaccine clinic, this one a free drive-thru event at the Klamath County Fairgrounds on April 7. The event is by appointment only and begins at 9 a.m. The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be offered at this event.
"We know it is important for the community to be immunized, so we advocated with the Oregon Health Authority to receive this Johnson & Johnson allocation," said Dr. Flor Mounts, medical director at KHP. "We encourage community members to take any opportunity they have to get vaccinated, don't wait for any particular vaccine because they all have very good efficacy. The J&J vaccine has the benefit of being a one dose vaccine instead of needing to get a second dose."