By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
In the past two weeks, from Jan. 17 to Jan. 30, Deschutes County saw COVID cases per 100,000 residents drop to 239.4.
To get gyms and restaurants fully reopened and Deschutes County out of the “Extreme Risk” category, the county needs that number to drop a little more.
“To move from extreme risk to high risk, we need to have a less than 10% case positivity, which we’re already meeting,” said Morgan Emerson with Deschutes County Public Health. “We also need to have 200 or fewer cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days. And we are above that right now.”
But hope is on the horizon, as the spike in cases the county experienced after the holidays is flattening.
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen our weekly case counts trend downward,” Emerson said. “This past week we saw 220 cases in that week. The last time we had a weekly case count that low was in mid-November.”
Is the vaccine helping this trend? Emerson said it’s unclear at this point. It might be the result of people choosing to follow current guidelines, like not meeting in groups and social distancing.
“We’re hopeful with continuing good health measures and also being able to vaccine and having that hope ahead of us, we’ll continue to lower our case numbers locally,” Emerson said.
Gov. Kate Brown will announce sometime next week if Deschutes County will be allowed to move out of the extreme risk category on Feb. 12.