SALEM, Ore. — After just over a month on Oregon's county "watch list" for coronavirus cases, Governor Kate Brown says that southern Oregon's Lake County has successfully met the criteria to be taken off the list by reducing the spread of COVID-19.
“Like last week with Union and Lincoln Counties, I want to applaud Lake County officials and community members for their work in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in their area. You are another example of how we can control the spread of this disease by working together,” said Governor Brown.
Lake County was one of the original eight counties when Governor Brown announced the watch list on July 3. Brown and Oregon Health Authority officials have described the impetus for watch list status as a high rate of community spread, or "sporadic cases."
"Specific markers of this rapid community spread include when there is a sporadic case rate of 50 or more per 100,000 people in the last two weeks and the county has had more than five sporadic cases in the last two weeks," Brown's office said in the previous update on July 30.
Counties on watch list status are subject to increased monitoring and communication with OHA, and receive support on contact tracing efforts. Brown's office said that counties stay on the watch list for at least three weeks, until sporadic case rates drop below the state's threshold.
Marion County was added to the watch list last week, and case investigations have since found sources for sporadic cases that prompted the increased scrutiny. Regardless, Marion County will remain on the list "out of an abundance of caution" to monitor any further increases in community spread, Brown's office said.
"I want to remind all Oregonians that this disease is something that, for the time being, we must learn to live with," Brown said. "This means, your continued work to protect yourselves and others — wearing a face covering, watching your distance, and washing your hands — is of the utmost importance.”
Baker, Hood River, Jefferson, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Umatilla, and Wasco counties remain on Oregon's watch list.