Today, Governor Brown announced that Baker County is moving from the Lower Risk category to the Moderate Risk category starting March 12 and continuing through March 25. The Oregon Health Authority reported Baker County had a total of 44 cases and a test positivity rate of 6.3% for the two-week period between February 21 and March 6.
For counties with less that 30,000 people, the total number of cases over 14 days needs to be less than 30 to be considered lower risk, between 30-44 to be considered moderate risk, 45-59 to be considered higher risk, and 60 or above is considered extreme risk. Baker County had the highest number of cases possible to remain in moderate risk; one additional case would have resulted in moving to the higher risk category. Specific information on the difference between lower risk and moderate risk for each sector is available on the Governor’s webpage.
County Commissioner Mark Bennett says, “While it’s unfortunate that our risk level rose, we’re grateful the moderate risk rating will not affect our schools, restaurants and bars, and gyms to a large extent. It will impact our businesses if our risk level rises again in two weeks. I ask everyone to take notice of where we are, and to keep doing the good things you’re doing to limit the spread. Our Health Department is steadily getting vaccines to those who want one when we
receive them. Unfortunately, in the last week we also had three COVID-19 related deaths of county residents. We’re a ways off from being out of the woods, and there is a lot we can continue to do to take care of each other.”