(Update: adding video, comments from affected companies)
A new hospitalization factor could allow some counties to avoid ‘extreme risk’
BEND, Pray. (KTVZ) – As expected, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday afternoon that Deschutes County will again be at high risk on Friday. That means restaurants will have to once again limit capacity to 25% or 50 people to dine inside, whichever is smaller.
“… and due to COVID-19, we are now at half capacity.”
That’s the Victorian Cafe answering machine, which will need to change after Governor Brown’s announcement.
The Oregon Health Authority says counties with 100-200 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people are considered high risk. In the most recent two-week period, March 21-April 3, Deschutes County reported 139.9 cases per 100,000 people.
Now several restaurants, which were beginning to recover, will have to take a step back.
“It’s just sad,” said Jason Camberg, owner of The Point Pub & Grill in downtown Bend. “It really hurts us. I mean, occupancy going down from 50% to 25% is a huge difference for us when we try to move forward and stay in business.”
Jarryd Hanson, manager of the Left Coast Burger Company in North Bend, told NewsChannel 21 that the change won’t have too much of an impact on his relatively new restaurant. Said the dining room setup only supports 25% of capacity anyway.
However, he identifies with other people in the service industry, especially bars.
“Not being able to have live music or entertainment of any kind, having everything at 25% really makes it a struggle,” Hanson said.
The Tower Theater in downtown Bend was excited to have people back inside this weekend for its first public live performance since early November.
Chief Executive Officer Ray Solley said that despite Tuesday’s announcement, the show must go on.
In a statement, he told NewsChannel 21: “The staff, cabaret cocktail producers, and I are working to add performances this weekend so that we only have 30 audience members on each show. Local artists rather than putting them off. or cancel them altogether. Keeping everyone safe and healthy will be the deciding factor. “
Crook and Jefferson Counties continue to have a lower risk.
Here is the press release issued by Governor Kate Brown:
Gov. Kate Brown announced updates Tuesday to the county’s risk levels under the state’s public health framework to reduce transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19. Deschutes County returns to high risk, while Crook and Jefferson counties remain at low risk.
The framework uses four different risk levels for counties based on the spread of COVID-19: extreme risk, high risk, moderate risk, and low risk, and assigns health and safety measures for each level.
Starting April 9-22, there will be 14 counties at the high risk level, six at moderate risk, and 16 at lower risk. As case counts and hospitalizations rise and counties qualify for higher risk levels, restrictions on business and activities will resume.
A complete list of counties and their associated risk levels is available here. The sector risk level guidance chart is here.
“We are at a critical time in this pandemic as we are faced with more contagious variants of COVID-19 that are taking hold in our communities,” Brown said. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that we all continue to wear masks, keep our physical distance, stay home when we are sick and get the vaccine when it is available.”
Deschutes County had 270 cases in the two-week period from March 21 to April 3, for a case rate of 139.9 per 100,000 people and a positive test rate of 3.8%, compared to 192 cases, 99.5 cases per 100,000 people and a positive test of 2.5%. Rate the previous two weeks.
Crook County had 23 cases in the last two-week period, 98.1 cases per 100,000 and a positive test rate of 1.8%. Jefferson County had 19 cases and 79.7 cases per 100,000 during the period, with a positive test rate of 3.2%.
NewsChannel 21’s Max Goldwasser is speaking to businesses affected by the change for a story tonight, starting on Fox @ 4.
Added a new statewide metric to determine the level of extreme risk
COVID-19 hospitalizations are a key indicator of serious illness in Oregon communities. As vaccine distribution increases, the case count and percent positivity will not be adequate indicators by themselves to measure the threat COVID-19 poses to public health, the governor said.
This week, Oregon is adding a statewide hospitalization metric to move to Extreme Risk.
Beginning this week, for counties to move to (or remain at) Extreme Risk, they must meet county metrics for case rates and percent positivity, plus a new state metric: COVID-19 positive patients. occupying 300 hospital beds or more, and a 15% increase from the seven-day average over the past week.
Counties that meet the extreme risk criteria, but for the state trigger, will be assigned high risk. This week, there are three counties that qualify for Extreme Risk based on their county metrics, but are assigned High Risk because the statewide hospitalization trigger has not been met: Josephine, Klamath and Tillamook.
Four counties enter a two-week precautionary period
The two-week cautionary period applies to counties facing a setback. Counties that reduced their spread of COVID-19 enough to lower the risk level in the previous two-week period, but see their numbers rise again in the next two-week period, are given a two-week caution period. weeks to refocus efforts to reduce the progressive number of cases and provide local businesses with additional certainty about their operating plans.
This week, the cautionary period applies to five counties:
- Baker County qualifies for Extreme Risk, but is given a two-week Low Risk cautionary period because it dropped from Moderate Risk in the last movement period.
- Columbia County qualifies for Extreme Risk, but is given a two-week caution period on Moderate Risk because it dropped from High Risk in the last movement period.
- Lane County qualifies for Moderate Risk, but is given a two-week caution period on Lower Risk because it dropped from Moderate Risk in the last movement period.
- Polk County qualifies for High Risk, but is given a two week caution period on Moderate Risk because it dropped from High Risk in the last movement period.
- Yamhill County qualifies for Moderate Risk, but is given a two-week caution period on Lower Risk because it went down from Moderate Risk in the last movement period.
The Oregon Health Authority will review and publish the county data weekly. County risk levels will be reassigned every two weeks. The data from the first week will provide a “warning week” to prepare counties for possible changes in the level of risk. The next assignment of risk levels will be announced on April 20 and will go into effect on April 23.
Updates to the Warning Week data and county risk levels will be posted on coronavirus.oregon.gov.