PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - After more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, lockdowns, and re-openings, Oregon is on the verge of opening back up, possibly for good.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, 66.2% of adults 18 and over in the state have been vaccinated, which is less than 4% away from the Governor's stated threshold of 70%, which would allow of the re-opening of Oregon's economy.
"What does fully reopen mean? First of all no more capacity limits for businesses. Masks will largely no longer be required by the state," said Brown on Friday.
According to the OHA, Oregon saw a 13% decrease in cases of COVID-19 each day over the past week, marking the fifth straight week case counts have fallen.
The state's models predict Oregon will reach the 70% threshold as early as June 21st, but despite the reasons for optimism, COVID-19 continues to spread across the state.
"A stark picture has emerged," said OHA Director Patrick Allen. "There isn't one pandemic in Oregon. There are two. One is a pandemic that is dying out among people who are vaccinated, and the other is a pandemic that is raging on as fiercely as ever in people who are unvaccinated."
Allen said the key now is reaching those who want the vaccine, but haven't been able to get it for some reason.
"We know many people who haven't chosen to get vaccinated yet aren't vaccine resistant, just vaccine inconvenient. They have little time outside the demands of family, multiple jobs, or other commitments," said Allen.
With that in mind, the OHA is working with Oregon pharmacies to extend their hours and partnering with health care providers to bring vaccine to workplaces, like factories and farms.
Those efforts have helped to narrow the vaccination gap between white Oregonians and communities of color.
"Over the past week, vaccinations among Latinos and Latinas increased 5%. Vaccinations among black Oregonians increased 5.4%," said Allen.
In the coming weeks, the OHA and its partners will be stepping up efforts to deploy mobile vaccine clinics and community based vaccination events.