News Alerts

13 Jan 2021 | 10:44 PM UTC

US: Changes in COVID-19 activity prompt officials to tighten restrictions in five of Oregon's counties effective Jan. 15 /update 18

United States of America News Alert

Officials in Oregon, US, to tighten restrictions in five counties, ease them in one effective Jan. 15 due to changes in COVID-19 activity.

TIMEFRAME expected from 1/13/2021, 10:44 PM until 1/28/2021, 11:59 PM (UTC). COUNTRY/REGION Portland OR, Medford, Eugene, Bend - Redmond, North Bend, Newport, Klamath Falls, Hermiston

Event

Authorities in Oregon have issued orders to tighten restrictions in five of the state's 36 counties and ease them in one due to changes in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity within those jurisdictions. Effective Jan. 15, Baker, Clatsop, Coos, and Morrow counties will move from the High Risk to the Extreme Risk category under the state's four-tier system, while Lake County will move from the Lower to the Moderate Risk category. Curry County will be the only jurisdiction where restrictions will be eased, moving from the Extreme to Moderate Risk category.

Under Oregon's current system, authorities track COVID-19 activity within each of the state's counties and impose localized restrictions accordingly. Counties are categorized at one of four levels, ranging from the Lower Risk (or "green") level to the Extreme Risk (or "red") level, with each involving increasingly tighter restrictions.

Under the Lower Risk (green) level, social gatherings of up to 10 people indoors and 12 people outdoors are allowed. Food and drink establishments can offer indoor dining at 50-percent capacity, as well as outdoor dining for up to 300 people; they must, however, close nightly by 0001. Gyms and fitness centers, as well as indoor entertainment businesses such as theaters and arenas, may operate at 50-percent capacity; retail stores, malls, and faith institutions may open at 75-percent capacity. Outdoor establishments are restricted to no more than 300 people. Effective Jan. 15, six counties will be at the Lower Risk level: Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Sherman, Wallowa, and Wheeler.

Under the Moderate Risk (or yellow) level, social gatherings of up to eight people indoors and 10 people outdoors are allowed. Food and drink establishments may offer indoor dining at 50-percent capacity, or a maximum of 100 people; outdoor dining is limited to 150 people. Such establishments must close nightly by 2300. Gyms, fitness centers, and other indoor entertainment businesses can operate at 50-percent capacity or a maximum of 100 people; retail stores and malls can operate at 75-percent capacity. Faith institutions may open at 50-percent capacity, with a maximum of 150 people indoors or 250 people outdoors. Outdoor establishments are restricted to no more than 150 people. Effective Jan. 15, Curry and Lake counties will be at the Moderate Risk level.

Under the High Risk (or orange) level, social gatherings of up to six people indoors and eight people outdoors are allowed. Food and drink establishments may offer indoor dining at 25-percent capacity, or a maximum of 50 people; outdoor dining is limited to 75 people. Such establishments must close nightly by 2300. Gyms, fitness centers, and indoor entertainment businesses can operate at 25-percent capacity or a maximum of 50 people, while retail stores and malls can operate at 50-percent capacity. Faith institutions may open at 25-percent capacity, up to a maximum of 150 people indoors or 200 people outdoors. Outdoor establishments are limited to 75 people. Effective Jan. 15, two counties will be at the High Risk level: Douglas and Lincoln.

Under the Extreme Risk (or red) level, social gatherings of up to six people indoors or outdoors are allowed. Food and drink establishments cannot offer indoor dining; outdoor dining is limited to a maximum of 50 people. Such establishments must close nightly by 2300. Gyms, fitness centers, and indoor entertainment businesses must close; retail stores and malls can operate at 50-percent capacity. Faith institutions may open at 25-percent capacity, up to a maximum of 100 people indoors or 150 people outdoors. Outdoor establishments are limited to 50 people. Office-based businesses must require employees to work from home whenever possible. Effective Jan. 15, the remaining 26 counties in the state will be at the Extreme Risk level:

  • Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wasco, Washington, and Yamhill

Statewide, personal care businesses may operate. Residents over the age of five must wear protective facemasks in indoor settings and in outdoor settings when social distancing is not possible. Authorities have also urged residents to avoid any nonessential travel, and encourage out-of-state travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Advice

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources

WHO Coronavirus Knowledge Base

State of Oregon - COVID-19 Updates

State of Oregon - County Level Restrictions

State of Oregon - County Levels

 

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