Today’s Risk Level Metrics: Schools and Counties report, posted weekly on the Oregon Health Authority website, shows a continuing decline in both new cases of COVID-19 and test positivity rate in Malheur County. During the two-week period from Jan. 31 to Feb. 13, the county recorded 41 new cases and a test positivity rate of 3.9%. The rate of cases was 128 per 100,000 people.
Today’s report was issued during a “warning week,” an opportunity for Oregon counties to prepare for the possibility that they might move to a different level of the state’s risk level system, based on data collected over a two-week period. Changes in risk level occur during “movement weeks.” Today’s report will not result in a change in Malheur County’s risk level this week; however, continuing declines in new case counts and test positivity rates would enable the county to move out of the Extreme Risk level on Friday, Feb. 26.
“With fewer COVID-19 cases and sufficient recent testing, people in Malheur County should feel safer from the risk of coronavirus exposure. We need to continue testing and following precautions to maintain this progress, especially with new virus variants that could increase transmission if we don’t prevent spread,” Malheur County Health Department Director Sarah Poe said.
To date, four cases of infection by a COVID-19 variant have been identified in Oregon. All four cases involve the UK (B.1.1.7) variant. This and two other variants – Brazilian (P.1) and South African (B.1.351) – seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19, according to Centers for Disease Control.
For more information on Malheur County COVID-19 data, visit our COVID-19 Cases page.