COVID restrictions to ease in Crook, Deschutes counties with return to ‘High Risk’

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Restrictions on indoor dining and other businesses will ease on Friday in Crook and Deschutes counties after Gov. Kate Brown announced both would return to ‘High Risk.”

With the statewide seven-day average increase for hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients dropping below 15%, Oregon no longer meets the statewide metrics for the Extreme Risk level, she said in a statement late Tuesday.

“Based on today’s numbers, I am keeping my commitment to Oregonians,” Brown said. “Beginning Friday, all counties in Extreme Risk will return to High Risk. With Oregonians continuing to get vaccinated each week, my expectation is that we will not return to Extreme Risk again for the duration of this pandemic.”

“Let me be clear: across the state, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still high, and Oregon is not out of the woods yet,” Brown said. “From the beginning, I have said that returning counties to the Extreme Risk level was about preserving hospital capacity and saving lives.

The Extreme Risk restrictions took effect last Friday as COVID cases skyrocketed locally.

Deschutes County set a one-week record last week with 546 new cases.

Hospitalizations have also climbed locally.

St. Charles reported this week that it had been operating at above 90% capacity for most of April and it was delaying elective surgeries.

But at the same time, local businesses took the brunt of the governor’s COVID restrictions while data showed the hospitality industry was to blame for just 3% of the total cases across the state.

“I know this will bring relief to many across the state. However, the lifting of Extreme Risk health and safety measures comes with great personal responsibility for us all. If Oregonians continue to keep up their guard, follow High Risk health and safety measures, and get vaccinated as fast as possible, we should see our COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates decline,” Brown said. “I’d like to thank Oregonians for taking this surge seriously for the last several weeks. It’s because of you that our hospitals have not been overwhelmed

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