Umatilla County Expected to Placed in ‘Extreme Risk’ Category for COVID-19

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Umatilla County is one of 21 other counties designated to be placed on the “Extreme Risk” category of counties outlined by the state.

Earlier this week, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced Oregon will introduce a new framework of safety measures dependent on each county’s risk amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The framework will go into effect after the state’s two-week freeze ends on Dec. 2.

Gov. Kate Brown appeared at a news conference on Wednesday with OHA and Oregon Health & Sciences University officials to discuss the new measures.

The new framework has four risk levels based on counties’ current COVID-19 spread, to take effect after the “freeze” ends next week. At each risk level — Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Lower Risk — health and safety measures and guidance for businesses and individuals will apply.

(SEE ALSO: HERMISTON RESTAURANTS MAY USE CITY PARKING LOTS FOR DINING)

The framework is intended to establish sustainable protection measures for Oregonians in counties with rapid spread of COVID-19, while balancing the economic needs of families and businesses in the absence of a federal aid package.

At least 21 counties will likely initially fall in the “extreme risk” category. Click here for a list of counties in each risk level using data available as of Nov. 23. Morrow County is expected to fall into the moderate risk category.

On Monday, Nov. 30, OHA will re-examine county data to determine which counties qualify for each risk level on Dec. 3, following the end of the “freeze.”

Oregon counties that reduce their COVID-19 risk levels in coming weeks and months will be able to incrementally move to lower levels.

OHA officials said that until COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, health and safety precautions will remain in place so that schools, businesses and communities can reopen, and stay open.

At every risk level, to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks, Oregonians must continue to wear face coverings, watch their physical distance, wash hands, stay home when sick, and keep social get-togethers and gatherings small.

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