Douglas County will remain in the state’s high risk level designation.
Gov. Kate Brown announced the new two-week risk level status of counties around the state. The new levels take effect Friday and last for two weeks.
Twenty-three counties, almost two-thirds of Oregon’s counties, are also in the high risk level. Many of those counties have moved up to the high risk category this week from lower or moderate risk.
For Douglas County, it’s a continuation in the status the county has held for most of 2021. The county moved to extreme risk from Feb. 26 to March 26, but otherwise has been designated high risk since Jan. 1.
No counties are currently in extreme risk. Just three are at moderate risk, while 10 are at lower risk, the lowest of four possible categories.
The levels are based on the number of new cases over two weeks and positive test percentages. It’s harder to qualify for extreme risk under the current metrics which also take into account statewide hospital statistics.
COVID-19 patients must occupy 300 hospital beds statewide, with a 15% increase in the seven-day hospitalization average over a one week period to qualify any county in the state for extreme risk.
Currently, 11 counties would qualify for extreme risk based on their local county statistics, but they’ve been assigned high risk status because the statewide hospitalization levels aren’t bad enough. Douglas is not one of those counties.
Brown urged Oregon residents to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others from increased spread of the virus in some counties and from variants that could prove more contagious.
“Until you, your family, your friends, and your neighbors are fully vaccinated, it’s also critical that we all continue to wear masks, maintain physical distance, and stay home when sick,” she said in a press release.
The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team reported four new cases and one new death Tuesday.
A 61-year-old man died April 13 and tested positive the day after his death.
The death brings the county’s COVID-19 death toll to 66.
Eight county residents are currently hospitalized with the illness, four locally and four out of the area.
Douglas Public Health Network is supporting 91 people who have the illness and are in isolation, as well as another 137 people who have been in contact with an infected person and are in quarantine.
All Oregon residents 16 and older became eligible for vaccines Monday.
Douglas Public Health Network, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners and Aviva Health will host the next drive-thru vaccination event this Saturday.
It’s by appointment only, so preregistration is required. You can sign up online or by phone.
Those without online access can call 541-671-3646 and leave a voicemail message. A volunteer will call back to get you signed up.
Spanish speakers can call the Spanish Help Line at 541-671-1355.
All county residents 16 and older are eligible to participate.
Participants will receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 580 new cases Tuesday and one new death.