SALEM, Ore. — A handful of Oregon counties will see fewer coronavirus-related restrictions beginning Friday, according to Governor Kate Brown's office.
Under the state's four-tier "risk level" system, 24 counties will remain at Extreme Risk, five will be at High Risk, and seven at Lower Risk between January 1 and January 14. The full list is available here.
In southern Oregon, Douglas and Coos counties were moved down to High from Extreme. Lake County went down from Moderate to Lower Risk. Jackson, Josephine, Curry, and Klamath counties remain at Extreme Risk.
"After weeks of diligent work by local leaders and public health officials to implement health and safety measures in their communities, this week’s county data is a welcome sign that we are making progress in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon,” said Governor Brown. “The county risk level framework is meant to put us on track to reopen our schools, businesses, and communities. It is not easy. Oregon families and businesses have made incredible sacrifices. If we work together, we will see more counties begin to lower their COVID-19 risk levels. If communities let down their guard too early, we could see our hard-won progress unravel just as quickly."
The Oregon Health Authority sweeps county COVID-19 case data every week, but risk levels only change on a two-week basis. The first week's data is supposed to provide a "warning week" for county officials to prepare for any changes. Risk levels won't change again until January 15.
“Every week, more Oregonians are being vaccinated against this deadly disease," Brown continued. "But, until vaccines are widely available with high participation rates, the surest way to open our communities is to continue practicing the measures we know are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 — wear your mask, keep physical distance from others, avoid gatherings, wash your hands often, and stay home when you are sick."