Health officers: No new COVID restrictions for Portland Metro amid Omicron surge

Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 5:46 PM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Health officers from Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties came together this afternoon to address the current COVID-19 surge. The three health experts said that at some point it is likely that everyone will encounter Omicron.

“There is a good chance that you would be exposed to Omicron in the next month if you are going out and about your normal activity,” Sarah Present, the health officers from Clackamas County, said.

However, there are still things everyone can do to limit the spread of the virus and protect hospital systems.

“I think people are going to be best prepared for that encounter by being fully up to date on the eligible vaccines, wearing a mask lower their chances that much more of getting an infection,” Dr. Jennifer Vines from Multnomah County, said. “And finally I have to believe that none of us wants to be the person who infects someone who is high risk so again taking those precautions particularly around people who are high risk as we navigate these next few weeks.”

Although cases are skyrocketing and Oregon has continued to break its record for daily COVID-19 cases, the tri-counties said they are not considering and additional restrictions like capacity limits or closures.

“Restrictions have played a role in the pandemic, an important role in the past but I think that as soon as the federal government and the state signaled that type of approach is off the table, it essentially took it off the table for counties because acting as a single jurisdiction or even as a region it’s hard to get the same effect and it’s a very blunt tool for slowing spread,” Vines said.

But, for those having large-scale events, it could be time to reevaluate.

“Consider the current state of COVID, consider postponing or moving online if possible. It won’t be a mandate but it’s important for everybody to understand where we are with this and take the precautions that you can take to safely and effectively run the businesses that you need to run,” Present said.