‘Today, we have news to be thankful for’


Governor lowers risk levels due to vaccines, people’s choices

May 8, 2021 — Starting yesterday, Lane County and 14 other counties left the “extreme risk” designation of COVID-19 and shifted down to “high risk.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown made the announcement on Tuesday. She followed up with a statement on Friday.

“After weeks of surging cases and hospitalizations in Oregon, today, we have news to be thankful for,” she said. “This latest wave of COVID-19 seems to be cresting and 15 counites will be moving out of our extreme risk category.”

In addition, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) updated its Sector Risk Level Guidance Chart. The 24 counties at high risk will be able to operate a little differently than they were able to previously:

  • Indoor Social and At-Home Gatherings: maximum 6 people, 2 households
  • Outdoor Social and At-Home Gatherings: maximum 8 people
  • Eating and Drinking Establishments: indoor dining allowed, takeout recommended; indoor capacity not to exceed 25 percent maximum occupancy or 50 people, whichever is smaller; Indoor and outdoor seating: 6 people per party and per table maximum, limit 2 households
  • Indoor Recreation and Fitness Establishments: maximum 10 percent occupancy or 50 people total, whichever is larger
  • Indoor Entertainment Establishments: maximum 10 percent occupancy or 50 people total, whichever is larger
  • Retail Stores: maximum 50 percent occupancy
  • Faith Institutions & Funeral Homes: indoor maximum 25 percent occupancy or 150 people total, whichever is smaller; outdoor maximum 200 people 

The governor was able to move the whole state out of extreme risk due to stabilizing hospitalization levels under guidance from OHA.

“Thank you, Oregon. It’s because of the smart choices you have made — wearing masks, avoiding large gatherings and getting vaccinated — that COVID-19 infections have not continued to spike,” Brown said. “Your actions have saved lives. Please keep it up and follow health and safety precautions when you are out in public so that we can continue to protect one another.”

On Tuesday, Brown predicted that the rate that Oregonians are getting vaccinated would prevent a future designation of extreme risk.

“The sooner we can get a significant majority of Oregonians vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to our regular lives,” she said.

The governor encouraged people to reach out to their health care providers if they have concerns or questions about the vaccines, which have been proven to be safe and effective.

In addition, vaccines are becoming more widely available through vaccination clinics and pharmacies. All COVID-19 vaccinations are free and no insurance is required.

In Florence, the next mass vaccination clinic will be held on Friday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince St. People can schedule an appointment at www.lanecounty.org/vaxclinics. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins will be welcome.

Prime and Boost doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be available for people.

This event is conducted by Lane County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, through Lane County Government, Lane County Health & Human Services and the City of Florence.

“It’s because so many Oregonians continue to get vaccinated that we are able to lift our extreme risk health and safety restrictions across Oregon today. It’s because of vaccines that so many Oregonians will be able to hug mom again this year. So please, stay safe, and support a local small business this weekend,” Brown said.

People can learn more about the virus, and how to get vaccinated, at:

https://coronavirus.oregon.gov/Pages/living-with-covid-19.aspx 

https://all4oregon.org/ 

https://lanecounty.org/coronavirus 

https://lanecounty.org/vaxclinics 

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