Oregon is easing certain restrictions, despite still high COVID-19 cases

Complex metrics that fall into place with the end of freezing; Deschutes, County Jefferson 21 remains in the “extreme risk” category; Scam “high”

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Bars and restaurants may reopen limited outdoor services next week, but many restrictions will remain in place until coronavirus vaccination becomes widely available, Oregon Governor Kate Brown said on Wednesday.

At a pre-Thanksgiving press conference, he asked Oregonians to stay safe during the holidays and protect others by ignoring safety protocols such as wearing a mask and restricting personal contact.

“Please, please make a smart decision on the holiday weekend that will protect you, your family and your neighbors,” Zoom said at a news conference. “The irresponsible behavior of Thanksgiving will only prolong the epidemic at best. In the worst case, he sends one of his loved ones to the ICU. “

State officials also announced that vaccinations will arrive in Oregon soon, although details remain unclear.

The renewed restrictions on tackling the unprecedented rate of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations will take effect when the current two-week “freeze” expires on 3 December. Currently, only restaurants are allowed. The restaurant industry has strongly pushed for restrictions as several restaurants have closed permanently and others are in danger of doing so.

Asked if he was willing to put pressure on the industry at a virtual press conference, Brown said, “Honestly, I’m working to save lives and preserve livelihoods.”

State officials also said they are expected to receive enough doses from the federal government in December to vaccinate 30,000 people, giving priority to health care workers caring for COVID-19 patients.

“Until our COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, health and safety precautions will remain in place to allow our schools, businesses and communities to reopen and stay open,” Brown said.

Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority or OHA, said the details remain confusing.

He told reporters he spoke on the phone on Tuesday with General Warp Speed, the federal government’s partnership with private pharmaceutical companies, to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

“There’s still a lot of lack of clarity,” Allen said, adding that Oregon needs more vaccinations than it originally arrives, but expects the number to grow rapidly, especially if more vaccines are distributed.

As of Monday, 21 of Oregon’s 36 counties have been classified as “extreme risk” because of the number of infections. Of the four risk categories, the highest are the counties that include the metropolitan metropolis and the counties of Marion, Lane, and Deschutes. Jefferson County also falls into the “extreme” category, while Crook County falls into the “high” category.

The OHA also reported 1,189 new confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the state to a total of 68,503. Another 20 people in the state died from the virus, bringing the state’s known death toll to 867.

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Oregon increased to 489, 113 in the intensive care unit. There are a total of 146 adult ICU beds in Oregon, according to the OHA.

Officials say the problem, rather than the lack of hospital beds, is that there may be enough health workers to handle the large-scale recovery of coronavirus infections.

In the new stages of the restrictions, the most endangered counties can have outdoor meals for up to 50 people. Indoor meals not exceeding 25% capacity are permitted in high-risk and 50% capacity counties in medium or lower risk counties.

State epidemiologist Dean Sidelinger said eating al fresco doesn’t mean eating in a place enclosed by cloth or plastic walls, as some restaurants in much of Oregon have stood up with the weather becoming cold and rainy. He says a roof is allowed, but three sides must be open, or the risk of infection is as great as an indoor meal.

Governor Kate Brown’s Office Press Release:

For Thanksgiving, Governor Kate Brown calls on Oregonians to work together to protect friends and family from COVID-19

Strict health and safety measures remain in place in 21 high-risk counties where COVID-19 is widespread and hospital care is high
(Salem, OR) – Because of the COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations during all periods of the pandemic, Governor Kate Brown today called on Oregonians to remember that the entire state is under a two-week freeze and to keep Thanksgiving gatherings small. and take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones from the spread of COVID-19. In Oregon, as the infection rate increased, the governor also warned that strict health and safety measures should continue to be in place in at least 21 counties where COVID-19 will end after a two-week freeze. December 2.

“It’s been a long year – and it has been an exceptionally big challenge for Oregonians,” Governor Brown said. “Not only have we struggled with this epidemic, but we have also suffered from a heartbreaking and historic wildfire season. A lot of families have lost so much this year. Unfortunately, we now need to redouble our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID more than ever before.

“If people don’t respect how serious this virus is, and when they act against the recommendations of doctors and public health experts, they are not only endangering themselves, they are endangering us all. Making smart decisions – wearing a mask, restricting social gatherings, staying at home in illness – will free us faster from this terrible situation and bring us closer to normal life, closer to reopening and maintaining the openness of our business, and closer to getting our children back into the classroom. “

As the epidemic continues into the winter months, when cases are expected to continue to rise, the governor has announced a new health and safety framework that includes four different levels of risk for counties based on their level of COVID-19 spread, which It ends on the 2nd. At all levels of risk – extreme risk, high risk, medium risk and lower risk – health and safety measures and guidelines should be applied to businesses and individuals. The framework aims to create sustainable conservation measures for Oregonians in the counties with the rapid spread of COVID-19, while balancing the economic needs of families and businesses in the absence of a federal aid package.

Click here for a list of counties for each risk level based on November 23 data.

On Monday, Nov. 30, the Oregon Health Authority will re-examine county data to determine which counties are eligible for each risk level on Dec. 3, following the completion of the 2-week freeze. For each additional two-week period, the Oregon Health Authority reviews and publishes county data on a weekly basis, but county risk levels remain unchanged until the end of the second week. In the first week, counties will receive alert week data to prepare for changes in potential risk levels. In the second week, county risk levels are updated based on data for that week.

In high-risk counties, the following activities are permitted, subject to health and safety protocols:

  • Out-of-household social and home gatherings can be limited to a maximum of six people, with a limit of the recommended two households.
  • Restaurants, bars and other dining and drinking facilities are limited to a maximum of 50 people, for outdoor dining only, only six people per table. Highly recommended design.
  • Indoor recreation, fitness and entertainment facilities, including the gym, will remain closed, however, outdoor recreation, fitness and entertainment activities, including outdoor gyms, are allowed and can accommodate up to 50 people outdoors.
  • Retail stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, as well as indoor and outdoor shopping malls and malls are limited to a maximum of 50% of capacity, encouraging handover along the way.
  • Theological institutions, burial houses, morgues and cemeteries are limited to a maximum of 25% of the capacity, or 100 people indoors (whichever is smaller), or 150 people outdoors.
  • Office workplaces will need to make the most of teleworking, and public offices will need to be used in public.
  • Personal service businesses can continue to operate in addition to existing health and safety measures.
  • Long-term care facilities may allow limited outdoor visits in accordance with established health and safety protocols.

Oregon counties that successfully reduce their COVID-19 risk levels in the coming weeks and months are able to gradually move to lower risk levels.

It is important to note that there is no Zero Risk category. Until COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, health and safety precautions will remain in place to allow schools, businesses and communities to reopen and remain open. To prevent COVID-19 epidemics, Oregonians at all levels of risk must continue to wear facials, monitor their physical distance, wash their hands, stay home if they are ill, and keep social gatherings and gatherings small.

More information on the county risk level framework is available here:
Disease spread table
County risk level table
Guidance by activity
Map of county risk levels 20.11.23

More information will be posted before coronavirus.oregon.gov before December 3rd.

School indicators for K-12 schools and health and safety guidelines for childcare remain unchanged within this framework.