January 26, 2021
Liz Merah, 503-877-8287
Governor Kate Brown Announces Updates to County Risk Levels
Updated risk levels take effect January 29, modified guidance for indoor activities in Extreme Risk counties to also take effect
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today announced updates to county risk levels under the state's public health framework to reduce transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19. The framework uses four different risk levels for counties based on COVID-19 spread—Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Lower Risk—and assigns health and safety measures for each level.
Effective January 29 through February 11, there will be 25 counties in the Extreme Risk level, two at High Risk, two at Moderate Risk, and seven at Lower Risk. A complete list of counties and their associated risk levels is available here.
“Most of the state remains in the Extreme Risk category," said Governor Brown. "This is an important reminder for all Oregonians to continue to do their part by abiding by the health and safety guidelines in place. Until vaccines are widely available with high participation rates, the surest way to lower our risk and open our businesses and communities is to continue practicing the measures we know are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 — wear your mask, keep physical distance from others, avoid gatherings, wash your hands often, and stay home when you are sick."
Governor Brown also announced modifications to the guidance for indoor activities in Extreme Risk counties, which will take effect January 29. These modifications allow for a maximum of six people indoors at facilities over 500 square feet (for all indoor activities except dining) with associated guidance for ongoing social distancing, cleaning protocols, and face coverings. For facilities smaller than 500 square feet, the modified guidance allows for 1:1 customer experiences, such as personal training. The updated guidance for indoor recreation will be posted to coronavirus.oregon.gov by January 29.
"The science has shown us that outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities when it comes to the spread of COVID 19, which is why we have clearly delineated guidance between indoor and outdoor activities," said Governor Brown. "We have seen over the last several weeks that Oregonians have largely complied with risk levels to the point that we have not seen a surge in hospitalizations that would have jeopardized hospital capacity. This means we are able to make these adjustments for Extreme Risk counties, which should assist both businesses and Oregonians as we continue to work to stop the spread of COVID-19."
The Oregon Health Authority will examine and publish county data weekly. County risk levels will be reassigned every two weeks. The first week's data will provide a "warning week" to prepare counties for potential risk level changes. The next assignment of risk levels will be announced February 9 and take effect February 11.
Updates to Warning Week data and county risk levels will be posted to coronavirus.oregon.gov.