SALEM, OR (KPTV) – Days after she warned the state that around a dozen counties were close to qualifying for extreme risk coronavirus restrictions, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday that 15 will enter the guidance level on Friday.

Brown cited the “rapid spread” of the virus as the basis of her decision, according to the statement from her office.

Last Friday, Brown said Oregon was experiencing a “fourth surge” of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations were nearing 300 patients statewide.

Brown said new COVID-19 variants are widespread and if she doesn’t act now, hospital systems and healthcare workers will be stretched to their limits treating these severe cases.

It’s been two and a half months since Portland experienced a shutdown to this extent.

Gov Kate Brown

Gov. Kate Brown touring a Portland school (KPTV)

Earlier this month, the governor made it more difficult for counties to go backwards. Statewide hospitalizations now must reach 300 patients—about half Oregon’s fall peak—and the seven-day patient average must increase by 15%. These two data points, an Oregon Health Authority spokesperson told FOX 12, aim to give enough time for policy changes to drive down hospitalizations.

In early data Tuesday, there were 328 Covid-positive hospital patients. 

In her announcement Tuesday, Brown said the following 15 counties will move to extreme risk effective Friday, April 30 through Thursday, May 6:

  • Baker (Moved from High)
  • Clackamas (Moved from High)
  • Columbia (Moved from High)
  • Crook (Moved from High)
  • Deschutes (Moved from High)
  • Grant (Moved from High)
  • Jackson (Moved from High)
  • Josephine (Moved from High)
  • Klamath (Moved from High)
  • Lane (Moved from High)
  • Linn (Moved from High)
  • Marion (Moved from High)
  • Multnomah (Moved from High)
  • Polk (Moved from High)
  • Wasco (Moved from High)

Here are the risk levels for the remaining counties:

High (9)

  • Benton
  • Clatsop
  • Coos
  • Hood River (Moved from Moderate)
  • Jefferson
  • Lincoln
  • Washington
  • Umatilla (Moved from Moderate)
  • Yamhill

Moderate (4)

  • Curry
  • Douglas (Moved from High)
  • Malheur (Moved from Lower)
  • Tillamook (Moved from High)

Lower (8)

  • Gilliam
  • Harney
  • Lake
  • Morrow
  • Sherman
  • Union
  • Wallowa
  • Wheeler

Only two counties, Douglas and Tillamook, improved in their risk levels.

“If we don’t act now, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other health care providers in Oregon will be stretched to their limits treating severe cases of COVID-19,” said Brown in the Tuesday statement. “Today’s announcement will save lives and help stop COVID-19 hospitalizations from spiking even higher. With new COVID-19 variants widespread in so many of our communities, it will take all of us working together to bring this back under control.”

President and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems Becky Hultberg said in a statement that metro area hospitals are prepared for a potential surge of patients, working regionally to coordinate bed space, supplies, and essential services.

Hultberg also said that while Oregon has among the lowest overall case counts and deaths in the country, cases are growing faster than almost any other state. If vaccination pace continues, however, she said Oregonians can expect to return to a more normal summer.

According to her office, “Brown is partnering with lawmakers to approve a $20 million small business emergency relief package to immediately support impacted businesses in Extreme Risk counties through the commercial rent relief program.”

A change to the determination of risk levels was also announced Tuesday: Changes will now be announced after one-week evaluation for the next three weeks instead of every other week.

The next round of county risk levels will be announced next Tuesday, May 4, and go into effect on Friday, May 7.

Brown’s office said counties will remain in extreme risk for a maximum of three weeks unless they improve. If, after three weeks, Oregon still exceeds statewide hospitalization metrics and one or more counties still meet the case rates and percent positivity for extreme risk, the governor’s office said it will have the Oregon Health Authority evaluate why and make recommendations.

“The fastest way to lift health and safety restrictions is for Oregonians to get vaccinated as quickly as possible and follow the safety measures we know stop this virus from spreading. I recognize the burden these restrictions place on Oregon businesses and working families. My goal is to lift these restrictions as soon as it is safely possible, and keep Oregon on the path for lifting most health and safety requirements by the end of June so we can fully reopen our economy. But we will only get there if enough Oregonians get vaccinated. There are appointments available right now all across the state,” Brown said.

While extreme risk restricts restaurants, bars and gyms to only offer outdoor service, the capacity for such service will increase from 50 to 100 patrons.

MORE: FOX 12's continuing local coronavirus coverage

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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(30) comments

DefundTheMedia

I didn't get my double dose for nothing. Sorry not sorry governor browneye, I'm going to live my life, and your tyranny isn't going to change that.

10.20.15.

Can anyone point out the fact that even with the "shots" you can still catch the virus and still get sick and still die? Those are facts! even if we all had the "shots" and they continued to test we would still have cases and still have hospitalizations and still have deaths. Fools.

10.20.15.

Kate Brown is insane literally. The reason for the spikes is everyone immune system is shot. There is absolutely NO science behind this.

Edward

Kabooom! ..... Truth Bomb

kyjaha

Get your shots, morons!

commentor

Pass on the jab

DefundTheMedia

Don't ask anybody ti feel sorry for you when you get it and are laying in a hospital bed with oxygen tubes in you. You're not a superhero.

evilkitty76

Time to run her out of the state!

Delta85

Emotional and financial outcome of the people doesn't matter to this governor!

Over and over we go playing with peoples emotions and income!

What good does it do if you get a shot when they keep telling you you can't do this or that?

Brsr5657

Just spent three weeks in Texas and if we can in Arizona felt like I was in a different country a free country already talking to a real estate agent about moving to Arizona. And yes Kate Brown you drove me away.

Edward

!!!!

Swaf

319 people hospitalized IN THE WHOLE STATE! That's it. And this Governor is shutting down our dining industry? Based on what? Show the data, Governor. It is a shame that we have a news media afraid to ask any tough questions of this failed Governor " Shut Down" Brown.

Swaf

310 people are hospitalized for Covid. That's 310 people in the whole state of 4.2 million. She is shutting down the restaurants and bars, etc. with no data to support her decision. Zero Data! However, the Blues Festival is scheduled to take place as is The Hood to Coast Relay. 20,000 thousand people for Hood to Coast alone. Events that gather thousands of people together. Is this making any sense to you faithful Kate Brown voters?

commentor

The question is is why does she always wait to pull this krap on a Friday? If this is as serious an issue as she makes it out to be, wouldn't she do it right now and not wait until Friday. Something is rotten here and it is not Denmark.

Maddog 10

Hey brown if your masks haven't done any good in over a years I guess that means we were right and you were wrong MASKS DON'T WORK. Just like the test of your party.

commentor

The states that have dropped the mask mandates and lockdowns have seen the 'covid-19' rates decline, while the states that still have the mask mandates and lockdowns (because the governors are tyrants and power hungry) have seen the 'covid-19' rates increase. Basically freedom works and tyranny does not.

SkepticOne

Now its all about forcing people to get experimental "vaccines" whether they want them or not.

commentor

They can try, but as long as these vaccines are being distributed under emergency use authorization they can not force you to get one.

Kenny Rogers

Hey it didn't work the first time, so why not try again? Communist Brownstains isn't going to stop me from living my life like a NORMAL human being, and I will still continue to support local restaurants and businesses any way I can. Why isn't Brownstains or any other "professional" preaching things like exercise, stress management, and strengthening your immune system as ways to protect yourself? Don't fret everyone though, it's under control; we just all have to wear masks, inflict further stress on ourselves, create more substance abuse issues, keep everyone on unemployment, and shut ourselves in completely and disregard the human experience. Yes, that will protect us!!!

NightRyder

Insanity = Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. There is no scientific evidence for shutting down restraints and gyms period!

10.20.15.

[thumbup]

Edward

Excatly

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

Remember how the CCCP lied to the world about the origin, and the danger of the virus? Remember how they still allowed their infected people travel to all parts of the world, knowing full well they were spreading a deadly virus? Remember when Joe Biden, Schumer, Pelosi, and the rest of the morons on the left trashed the real President for shutting down travel from Asia..calling him racist and xenophobic? Remember when Joe and Hunter got a sweetheart business deal through their contacts in the CCCP, and how they're all buddies again, despite the fact that the CCCP hacks our government, our companies, and individual americans. It's been over a year now, and we're STILL going through this garbage. And tell me, HOW has China been made to pay?

Eliza Cassan

huh? how exactly is one week of more lockdowns going to help?

Kenny Rogers

My thoughts exactly.

Son of Fukov

The abuser Kate Brown strikes again. Her MO all along is to give you some hope and then take it away, over and over and over again. Note that there are never any hard numbers associated with her decisions. She says she follows "science and data", yet pulls bait and switch on you continuously. You cannot trust a word she says, so why continue to listen to her? You affected counties should give her the collective bird and ignore her. Support your businesses and communities, not a raving dictator.

Kenny Rogers

I agree completely. Right on the money

commentor

[thumbup]

PDX2MtHood

Funny how all the social distancing and mask requirements arent stopping any of these "surges" and yet they keep telling us to do these things. More restrictions despite the vaccine having been out for months now.

Kenny Rogers

Exactly, and it shows how dangerous our leadership is.

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