This week, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced updates to county risk levels under the state’s public health framework to reduce transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19.
The framework uses four different risk levels for counties based on COVID-19 spread — extreme risk, high risk, moderate risk and lower risk — and assigns health and safety measures for each level.
Effective Jan. 29 through Feb. 11, there will be 25 counties in the extreme risk level, two at high risk, two at moderate risk, and seven at lower risk. Lane County is currently in the extreme risk level.
A complete list of counties and their associated risk levels is available at corona-virus.oregon.gov/Pages/living-with-covid-19.aspx.
“Most of the state remains in the extreme risk category,” said Brown. “This is an important reminder for all Oregonians to continue to do their part by abiding by the health and safety guidelines in place. Until vaccines are widely available with high participation rates, the surest way to lower our risk and open our businesses and 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.”
The governor also announced modifications to the guidance for indoor activities in extreme risk counties, which took effect Jan. 29. These modifications allow for a maximum of six people indoors at facilities over 500 square feet (for all indoor activities except dining) with associated guidance for ongoing social distancing, cleaning protocols, and face coverings. For facilities smaller than 500 square feet, the modified guidance allows for 1:1 customer experiences, such as personal training. The updated guidance for indoor recreation will be posted to coronavirus.oregon.gov.
“The science has shown us that outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities when it comes to the spread of COVID-19, which is why we have clearly delineated guidance between indoor and outdoor activities,” Brown said. “We have seen over the last several weeks that Or-egonians have largely complied with risk levels to the point that we have not seen a surge in hospitalizations that would have jeopardized hospital capacity. This means we are able to make these adjustments for extreme risk counties, which should assist both businesses and Oregonians as we continue to work to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Effective Jan. 29, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) also issued guidance for outdoor recrea-tion and outdoor fitness establishments.
While full-contact sports remain prohibited, the guidance states it seeks to provide opportuni-ties for physical activity while reducing the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
Under the guidance, outdoor recreation and outdoor fitness establishments are required to taken certain precautions such as: posting clear signage about transmission safety; establishing one-way traffic flow; thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all fitness-related areas; providing sanitizing stations; and keeping saunas, steam rooms and sand boxes closed.
Outdoor pools must limit use to one household unit at a time.
During training and playing, handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps and group celebrations are also to be prohibited.
A full list of requirements and recommendations can be found online at
The OHA will examine and publish county data weekly.
County risk levels will be reassigned every two weeks. The first week’s data will provide a “warning week” to prepare counties for potential risk level changes. The next assignment of risk levels will be announced Feb. 9 and take effect Feb. 11.
Updates to Warning Week data and county risk levels will be posted to coronavirus.oregon.gov.