Clatsop County will remain at moderate risk for the coronavirus on Friday even after a recent spike in cases.
The county has been at moderate risk since late March.
“We are at a critical moment in this pandemic as we face more contagious variants of COVID-19 taking hold in our communities,” Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement Tuesday. “Now more than ever it’s imperative that we all continue wearing masks, maintain physical distance, stay home when sick and get the vaccine when it’s available to you.”
Clatsop County is one of six counties that will be at moderate risk through April 22. Fourteen counties will be at high risk and 16 will be at lower risk.
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 97 cases per 100,000 over a two-week period. Test positivity was 5.4%.
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 849 virus cases since the pandemic began. According to the county, 20 were hospitalized and seven have died.
Margo Lalich, the county’s interim public health director, said the county is going to see more cases.
“And yet we’re being told that we can open up more, people can move about in the community more,” Lalich said during a county Board of Commissioners work session Tuesday. “We’re seeing less people wearing masks. It’s spring break. There’s more people here. It’s fantastic everything’s opening up — schools are meeting more in person, kids are playing sports. So we are going to see more cases.
“The challenge is if it moves us into that high-risk level, it becomes that much more challenging to shut everything back down again, and move across the spectrum.
“The message continues to be, even though people are getting vaccinated, even though we’re being told we can go travel, the reality is there are still infections. And people need to wear their masks and they need to wash their hands and they need to stay home if they’re symptomatic and they need to get tested.”
Brown announced Tuesday that all Oregonians over 16 will be eligible for vaccination on April 19. The Biden administration last month instructed all states to make vaccines available to everyone no later than May 1. The president on Tuesday moved the deadline up to April 19.
Clatsop County has started vaccinating final priority groups, including front-line workers and people living in multigenerational households.
People 16 to 44 with underlying health conditions are also eligible for the vaccine, but the county is only vaccinating people 18 years and older since the Moderna vaccine, which is the one administered at the clinics, has not yet been approved for people under 18.
As of Monday, more than 17,000 vaccine doses have been administered in the county, and about 5,200 people are fully vaccinated.