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Health and Medicine

Some Southern Oregon Counties Still At High Risk For COVID

Communicable disease supervisor Jill Johnson draws out doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Deschutes County Public Health Department in Bend, Ore., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.
OPB
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Some Southern Oregon counties continue to lag behind the rest of the state in terms of their risk levels for COVID-19.

Tuesday, Gov. Kate Brown announced the latest updates to the risk levels.

Jackson, Douglas and Klamath are among the 11 counties in the state that remain in the High Risk category. That means limited capacities remain in place for several types of businesses, including 50 people max at gyms, restaurants and theaters. To move into the lower risk category, they would need to have given at least one vaccine dose for 65% of residents 16 and older.

Josephine County moved to Moderate Risk, so some restrictions there will be lifted starting Friday. Coos County joined Curry and 19 other counties in the Lower Risk category.

“For unvaccinated individuals, COVID-19 remains as large a threat as it ever was. With more contagious variants spreading, far too many Oregonians are still being hospitalized when they could be protected with a vaccine,” Brown said. “If you have been waiting to get vaccinated, go get your shot today. It’s never been easier to get an appointment, and you may just win $1 million through the Take Your Shot, Oregon campaign.”

Statewide, Brown has announced plans to lift mask mandates and physical distancing requirements in most settings once 70% of adults 18 and over in Oregon have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. As of Tuesday morning, the state was short about 107,000 people.

That 70% metric is in line with the national goal Pres. Joe Biden’s administration set for July 4. Brown has said she expects Oregon to reach the milestone by June 21.