Extensive COVID restrictions to remain for Central Oregon through Jan. 28

Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties will remain at the “Extreme Risk” level for COVID transmission through January 28th, according to an update from the governor’s office Tuesday.

Gov. Kate Brown’s public health framework uses four different risk levels for counties based on COVID-19 spread—Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Lower Risk—and assigns health and safety measures for each level.

Counties under “Extreme Risk” face the most extensive COVID restrictions.

Restaurants are limited to take-out only, gyms and fitness centers are closed and grocery stores are limited to 50% capacity.

Effective January 15 through January 28, 26 counties will be at the Extreme Risk level, two at High Risk, two at Moderate Risk, and six at Lower Risk.

A complete list of counties and their associated risk levels is available here.

“With four counties moving back to Extreme Risk, this week we are reminded that health and safety measures continue to be of utmost importance, even when we slow the spread of COVID-19,” Brown said in a release. “I want to remind all Oregonians to continue to do their part by abiding by the health and safety guidelines in place. Until vaccines are widely available with high participation rates, the surest way to open our communities is to continue practicing the measures we know are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 — wear your mask, keep physical distance from others, avoid gatherings, wash your hands often, and stay home when you are sick.”

Weekly COVID cases peaked in Deschutes County the week of Nov. 22nd and declined for four straight weeks.

But cases have climbed back up the last two weeks, according to data from the health department.

The Oregon Health Authority will examine and publish county data weekly. County risk levels will be reassigned every two weeks. The first week’s data will provide a “warning week” to prepare counties for potential risk level changes. The next assignment of risk levels will be announced January 26 and take effect January 29.

Updates to Warning Week data and county risk levels will be posted to coronavirus.oregon.gov.

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