Gov. Kate Brown today announced that Jackson and Jefferson counties have succeeded in reducing the spread of COVID-19 sufficiently enough to be removed from the County Watch List.
In addition, the Governor announced that Umatilla County has met the prerequisites to move to Phase 2, effectively immediately.
“I want to commend county officials and community members in Jackson, Jefferson, and Umatilla Counties for their efforts in curbing community spread of COVID-19,” Brown said in a statement. “Their work in reducing community transmission shows that we can reduce the spread of this disease if we all work together.”
Counties are placed on the Watch List when COVID-19 is spreading quickly and public health officials cannot trace that spread to specific sources—creating a potentially dangerous dynamic.
Jefferson County was initially placed on the watch list in early July and as cases increased, there was concern tighter restrictions would be placed on residents.
Specific markers of this rapid community spread include when there is a sporadic case rate of 50 or more per 100,000 people in the last two weeks and the county has had more than five sporadic cases in the last two weeks (sporadic cases are those that cannot be traced to a source; they indicate community spread).
Counties remain on the Watch List for a minimum of three weeks and until their sporadic case rates drop below these thresholds.
Jefferson County has reported 482 total cases and eight deaths.
The County Watch List allows the state to prioritize resources and assistance to counties that are seeing the broadest spread of COVID-19. When a county is placed on the Watch List, the Oregon Health Authority increases monitoring and communication, and deploys additional technical assistance and resources, such as epidemiological support, case investigation, and contact tracing help.