PORTLAND, Ore. — Gov. Kate Brown on Friday announced the removal of Multnomah and Hood River counties from Oregon’s COVID-19 County Watch List.
“We continue to see counties working diligently to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their communities—to the point where two more counties now come off the Watch List,” Brown said in a news release. “I want to applaud county officials and community members in Hood River and Multnomah counties for their efforts in curbing community spread of COVID-19.”
The list allows the state to prioritize resources, including contact tracing help, in the counties where the virus is spreading more rapidly and health officials cannot trace cases to a known source.
These untraced cases, known as sporadic cases, are a marker of coronavirus spreading in a community. Counties with a sporadic case rate of at least 5% over a two-week period have a rapid community spread, according to the governor’s office.
The watch list now includes six Oregon counties: Baker, Jackson, Jefferson, Malheur, Morrow and Umatilla.
Earlier this week, state health officials reported that coronavirus cases in Oregon continue to decline. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported a 13% decrease in the weekly case count from the previous week.
The rate of positive tests also declined from 5.4% to 5.1%.
The spread of the deadly disease has decreased since July, but authorities said the number of cases is still too high for students to return to school. Experts said the average amount of daily cases would need to decrease from about 250 to 60.
"While no counties are being added to the Watch List this week, it's still important that all Oregonians remain vigilant in protecting themselves and their friends, families, and neighbors from this disease,” Brown said.