PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Starting Friday, COVID-19 risk levels are changing for several Oregon counties and many are moving in the wrong direction because of rising cases and hospitalizations.
Counties like Multnomah and Clackamas are moving into the high risk category so they’ll have to once again adjust to a lower capacity at businesses and restaurants.
This week Governor Kate Brown announced that for any county to move into extreme risk there must be 300 people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19 and a 15% increase in the seven-day average over the past week.
The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association says it’s urging the Governor to use hospitalizations as the defining metric for counties. They say the number of cases of COVID-19 is no longer a good indicator as to the dangers of the virus.
They say that’s because things like vaccinations that may not totally prevent someone from contracting the virus, but will still prevent them from experiencing serious symptoms of COVID-19.
“With over 2,000,000 vaccinations into arms in Oregon, it’s time to take another look at the value we place on each case of COVID, compared to the amount of need we have in our healthcare institutions to treat serious COVID illness,” said Jason Brandt of ORLA.
The group says that in addition, they feel that every restaurant across the state should be able to operate at 50% capacity and should use 3 feet of social distancing as the new rule. ORLA says it believes these changes could seriously help an industry that continues to be affected most by the pandemic restrictions.
Governor Kate Brown did say that case counts and positivity percentages are no longer adequate indicators for the threat of COVID-19 on the health care system. She did say that measures the state is taking are still necessary to battle variants of the virus.