The Governor’s office announced Baker County is returning to the high risk category beginning today, April 23. Between April 3-17, Baker County had 79 cases reported and a test positivity rate of over 8.8%. Classification in the high risk category shows there is substantial spread of COVID-19 in a county.
The high risk category imposes additional limitations on businesses, including limiting eating and drinking establishments to an indoor dining capacity to 25% of maximum occupancy and an 11:00 PM closing time, and reducing indoor fitness or entertainment establishments to 25% occupancy.
As of April 22, 283 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in Oregon. During a press conference today, Governor Brown discussed the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide and the corresponding shortage of key healthcare equipment. She announced if Oregon reaches the threshold of 300 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, all counties with case numbers and test positivity rates that qualify them for extreme risk will move to the extreme category on Friday, April 30. Baker County case numbers need to drop significantly to avoid returning to extreme risk next week.
County Commissioner Mark Bennett said, “The spike in cases we’ve experienced over the last four weeks has sickened and quarantined many people, and will also hurt our businesses- especially the restaurants. I hate to see us go back to high risk, and I’m concerned it will be worse next week. Thank you to the Health Department staff for their tireless work to provide good information to those who have come down with symptoms or been exposed, and to keep providing vaccines. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, a drive through clinic will be offered this Saturday at the fairgrounds, no appointment needed. We’re trying to make getting vaccinated as easy as possible.”
The drive through clinic will be held at the fairgrounds on April 24 from 8 AM to 1 PM, and is open for anyone 18 and over. No appointment is required. Forms and more information are available at www.bakercountycovid19.com.
Specific guidance for each risk level is available on the Oregon Health Authority’s website.