Breaking down Oregon’s risk levels

MEDFORD, Ore. – Several Southern Oregon counties, like Coos, Jackson, and Josephine will stay in the state’s extreme risk category Beginning Friday.

However, Oregon’s largest county, Multnomah County, is being lowered from extreme to high despite having more cases.

There are three major indicators that the state considers when making these decisions.

“We look at all these areas because they really give us a whole picture of the transmission in the county,” said Jonathan Modie from Oregon Health Authority.

The indicators are the rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over a period of 14 days, the number of COVID-19 cases over 14 days, and the test positivity percentage over the past 14 days.

“We use per 100,000 in a way to basically level the playing field for counties,” said Modie.

But Jackson Co. Public Health’s Tanya Phillips told NBC5 there is good news. Jackson Co. isn’t far from moving down a level.

“We’re definitely seeing a downtrend. So I think that should be encouraging to people that we’re doing something right as a community,” said Phillips

In the last two weeks, Jackson Co. had a total of 576 cases. Phillips said the county needs the number to be about 442 total cases over the next two weeks.

The other indicators are harder to pinpoint, but Phillips said we’re getting closer to a partial reopening.

Both agencies say people need to continue to socially distance, wear a mask, and sanitize often.

Click HERE for more information on Oregon’s risk level factors.

Click HERE for more information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

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