▶️ Move to extreme risk unlikely in Deschutes Co. despite COVID case surge

Deschutes County has reported more than 180 new COVID cases since Sunday and has had four straight weeks of climbing cases. 

But moving to an “extreme risk” level – and enduring the tightened COVID restrictions that come with that label – appears unlikely because the state now looks at more than individual county metrics.

The state must also have 300 hospital beds occupied with COVID patients, and a 15% increase in the seven-day average.

243 people are currently hospitalized in Oregon.

“Cases are surging,” Phil Chang, Deschutes county commissioner said. “So if hospitalizations across the state reach a point where we need to go into ‘extreme risk,’ it may very well be justified.”

Local hospitalizations are increasing as well, including 13 COVID patients currently at St. Charles.

Chang finds the recent surge is alarming.

He’s concerned with the health of residents, as well as what this might mean for local businesses under the current COVID restrictions.

“Now in ‘high risk,’ they’re only allowed to have 25% capacity inside,” Chang said. “That is just not enough volume to a business to be viable.”

As Deschutes County vaccinations increase, Chang says it’s important for everyone to do their part.

“Everyone not only has to get vaccinated,” Chang said. “But in the meantime everyone needs to wear their masks, maintain their distance, try to limit their social gatherings, and when they do gather with people, try to do it outside.”

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