Gov. Brown Updates County Risk Levels

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced on Monday that businesses in lower risk counties will have the option of creating vaccinated sections as of Thursday, May 27. On that same day, there will be 15 counties in the High Risk level, three at Moderate Risk, and 18 at Lower Risk.  

As per Governor Brown’s announcement on May 11, the Lower Risk category will include counties that have 65% or more of residents vaccinated with at least one dose, and  will have submitted an equity plan about how it intends to close the equity gaps in vaccinations. For this reason, one of the lower risk counties is Multnomah, as 65% of its adults are vaccinated and the equity plan it submitted has been approved. 

Benton County remains in the Lower Risk category. 

“The science is clear: vaccines are very effective in keeping people safe from COVID-19, and they are the key to returning to normal life and lifting health and safety restrictions statewide,” said Brown to State of Oregon Newsroom. “This disease remains dangerous for those in communities with high rates of unvaccinated individuals. That’s why I’m encouraging all Oregonians to roll up your sleeves, take your shot, and get a chance to change your life. It’s never been easier to get vaccinated, and you may just end up a winner through the Take Your Shot, Oregon campaign.” 

Beginning next week, risk level changes will be announced on a weekly basis, and any county who may be bumped up in risk level will be put in a caution period to focus on lowering the rates of cases. 

Oregon will lift all restrictions, except some based on restrictions set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, once the state reaches a first dose vaccination rate of 70% for all residents 16 or older.  

By: Hannah Ramsey