Malheur County will move to Lower Risk this Friday

Beginning this Friday, Malheur County’s risk level will go from Moderate to Lower based on COVID-19 case data reported over the two-week period from March 21 to April 3. A Risk Level Metrics report from the Oregon Health Authority shows that there were 15 cases and a case rate (number of cases per 100,000 people) of 46.8. The test positivity rate was 2.9%.

Risk levels are based on two indicators – new case counts and test positivity rate. The new Lower level allows for some loosening of local restrictions:

  • Eating and drinking establishments still not to exceed 50% capacity, but there is no maximum on number of people. Outdoor dining is allowed with a capacity of 300 people maximum. Indoor and outdoor seating: 8 people per table maximum. Closing time is 12:00 a.m.
  • Faith institutions, funeral homes, mortuaries, and cemeteries to increase maximum occupancy to 75% with no maximum on number of people. Outdoor capacity: 300 people maximum (Capacity limits for faith institutions are recommended only.)
  • Indoor entertainment establishments, such as aquariums, theaters, arenas, concert halls, indoor gardens, museums, and other entertainment activities to remain at 50% maximum occupancy but there is no maximum on number of people. Closing time is 12:00 a.m.
  • Indoor recreation and fitness, including gyms, K-12 sports, collegiate sports, fitness organizations, recreational sports, and pools to remain at 50% occupancy but there is no maximum on number of people. Indoor full-contact sports are still prohibited.
  • Offices to offer limited office work in person.
  • Outdoor entertainment establishments, including zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor theaters, and stadiums to increase to maximum 50% occupancy. Closing time is 12:00 a.m.
  • Outdoor recreation and fitness, including gyms, fitness organizations, K-12 sports, collegiate sports, recreational sports, pools, and parks to increase to maximum50% occupancy. Outdoor full-contact sports are still allowed.
  • Social and at-home gathering size (indoor) to increase to a maximum of 10 people. Recommended limit of 4 households.
  • Social and at-home gathering size (outdoor) to increase to a maximum of 12 people with no recommended limit on number of households.

“We recognize all the sacrifices it has taken to get us this far, and we appreciate everyone’s willingness to work together. Please continue to follow guidance so we can keep cases low and Malheur County businesses open,” said Craig Geddes, Malheur County’s Director of Environmental Health.

In addition to risk level changes, Governor Kate Brown announced today that Oregon is adding a statewide hospitalization metric for moving to Extreme Risk. “COVID-19 hospitalizations are a key indicator of severe illness in Oregon communities. As vaccine distribution increases, case counts and percent positivity will not be adequate indicators on their own for measuring the threat COVID-19 poses to public health,” according to today’s press release.

For more detailed information on risk levels and associated guidance for counties, visit Living with COVID-19.

A full list of this week’s county risk categories is available here.

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