CORONAVIRUS, Health, Oregon

COVID-19 risk status lowered in six counties

Face masks. Photo: Chas Hundley

Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday, December 29 announced updates to the risk levels in all Oregon counties under the state’s public health framework that aims to reduce virus transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19.

Four different risk levels are used for counties based on the spread of COVID-19 — extreme, high, moderate, and lower risk — and effective Jan. 1, five counties — Clatsop, Coos, Douglas, Lincoln, and Morrow — will be moved from the “Extreme Risk” category down to “High Risk.” 

Washington County and 23 other counties remain in the “Extreme Risk” category. Lake County was removed from the “Moderate Risk” category and joins six other counties in the state’s “Lower Risk” category. 

“After weeks of diligent work by local leaders and public health officials to implement health and safety measures in their communities, this week’s county data is a welcome sign that we are making progress in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon,” said Brown. “The county risk level framework is meant to put us on track to reopen our schools, businesses, and communities. It is not easy. Oregon families and businesses have made incredible sacrifices. If we work together, we will see more counties begin to lower their COVID-19 risk levels. If communities let down their guard too early, we could see our hard-won progress unravel just as quickly,” the governor said.

“Every week, more Oregonians are being vaccinated against this deadly disease. But, until vaccines are widely available with high participation rates, the surest way to open our communities is to continue practicing the measures we know are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 — wear your mask, keep physical distance from others, avoid gatherings, wash your hands often, and stay home when you are sick.”

A complete list of counties is available at Updates to warning-week data and county risk levels will be posted at

The OHA reported 865 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Monday, December 28, bringing the state total to 110,545. Six more people died after contracting the disease, bringing the death toll to 1,433 in Oregon since the onset of the pandemic. 

On Monday, there were 515 hospitalized COVID-19 patients across the state, 23 more than the previous day, with 113 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, eight more than the previous day. For more hospitalization data, visit

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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