Clatsop County will move to moderate risk for the coronavirus Friday after an uptick in cases.

The county has been at lower risk since late February.

The moderate risk designation from the state means a decrease in occupancy at churches and indoor and outdoor gatherings. Outdoor capacity will drop at restaurants, bars and outdoor recreation and entertainment venues. Many businesses will be required to close at 11 p.m. instead of midnight.


Clatsop County will move to moderate risk for the coronavirus on Friday after an increase in cases.

“This week we continue to see the majority of counties at lower and moderate risk, and I want to thank Oregonians once again for making smart choices throughout this pandemic,” Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement Tuesday.

“As we work to open up vaccine eligibility to all Oregonians by May 1, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel get a little brighter. But, we still have more work to do to reach the level of communitywide protection we need. I encourage all Oregonians to keep wearing your masks, maintain physical distance, stay home when sick and get your vaccine when it’s available to you.”

Clatsop County is one of 14 counties that will be at moderate risk through April 8. Two counties will be at extreme risk, six will be at high risk and 14 will be at lower risk.

“This is just another reminder that as the weather improves and folks are traveling we need to continue to be vigilant and take precautions against the spread of the virus,” Mark Kujala, the chairman of the county Board of Commissioners, said.

“This move to the moderate risk category will impact the size of indoor gatherings somewhat but won’t change restaurant, gyms and museum capacity.

“Hopefully this will be an anomaly — not a trend — and we can get back to the lower risk category in a couple weeks.”

Counties with a population of 30,000 or more are evaluated for risk based on virus cases per 100,000 over two weeks and the test positivity rate for the same period.

Counties at moderate risk have a case rate between 50 and 100 per 100,000 people, and may have a test positivity between 5% and 8%.

As of Saturday, Clatsop County had 71 cases per 100,000 over a two-week period. Test positivity was 4.7%.

Capacity for indoor dining at restaurants and bars in counties at moderate risk is 50% or 100 people, whichever is smaller, with an 11 p.m. closing time and a maximum of six people per table. Up to 150 people can dine outdoors. Tables must be limited to eight people.

Gyms, indoor pools, museums, theaters and other entertainment venues can operate at 50% of capacity or 100 people total, whichever is smaller. Indoor full-contact sports are prohibited.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, retail shops and shopping malls can operate at 75% of capacity.

Churches can convene at 50% occupancy indoors or 150 people total, whichever is smaller, and 250 people outdoors.

Indoor social gatherings must be limited to eight people from two households in counties at moderate risk. Outdoor gatherings can have 10 people.

Indoor and outdoor visits are allowed at long-term care facilities.

Employers should recommend remote work if able.

The county has recorded 823 virus cases since the pandemic began. According to the county, 18 were hospitalized and seven have died.

Clatsop County on Monday will begin offering vaccines to the next priority groups, including adults ages 45 to 64 with underlying conditions, seafood workers and homeless people.

A special weekend clinic will be held on April 3 at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center. To get an appointment, fill out the vaccine survey on the county’s website or call 503-325-8500.

As of Wednesday, nearly 13,000 vaccine doses have been administered in the county, and about 4,500 people are fully vaccinated.

Nicole Bales is a reporter for The Astorian, covering police, courts and county government. Contact her at 971-704-1724 or