Malheur in Extreme Risk: After the ‘freeze,’ Oregon will introduce new framework for counties

Starting December 3rd, Malheur County will follow new extreme risk safety measures.

After the statewide “two-week freeze” ends on Dec. 2, Oregon will introduce a new framework of safety measures dependent on each county’s risk. Governor Kate Brown appeared at a news conference today with OHA and Oregon Health & Sciences University officials to discuss the new measures.

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations at an all-time high for the pandemic, Governor Brown also urged Oregonians to keep their Thanksgiving gatherings small and use precautions to protect themselves and loved ones from the spread of COVID-19.

The new framework has four risk levels based on counties’ current COVID-19 spread, to take effect after the “freeze” ends next week. At each risk level — Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Lower Risk — health and safety measures and guidance for businesses and individuals will apply.

The framework is intended to establish sustainable protection measures for Oregonians in counties with rapid spread of COVID-19, while balancing the economic needs of families and businesses in the absence of a federal aid package.

At least 21 counties will likely initially fall in the “extreme risk” category (including Malheur County). Click here for a list of counties in each risk level using data available as of Nov. 23. On Monday, Nov. 30, OHA will re-examine county data to determine which counties qualify for each risk level on Dec. 3, following the end of the “freeze.”

Oregon counties that reduce their COVID-19 risk levels in coming weeks and months will be able to incrementally move to lower levels.

It’s important to note that there is no zero risk category. Until COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, health and safety precautions will remain in place so that schools, businesses and communities can reopen, and stay open.

At every risk level, to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks, Oregonians must continue to wear face coverings, watch their physical distance, wash hands, stay home when sick, and keep social get-togethers and gatherings small.

Learn more:

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