PORTLAND, Ore. — Because of rising COVID-19 case counts, Umatilla County will move back from Phase 2 of Gov. Kate Brown's reopening plan to stay-home status, the governor announced Thursday night.
Morrow County will also move back from Phase 2 to Phase 1, the governor said. Both moves go into effect Friday at noon.
Both counties have seen a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases over the past month. They were both placed on the state's watch list on July 3, which provided each county with additional support from state public health officials.
"After weeks of trying other measures to get the disease under control, our only option is to temporarily close certain businesses and other community amenities," Brown said. "I am hopeful that these measures will help the community control the spread of COVID-19 quickly."
The changes in reopening status will last for 21 days. The situation in each county will be reviewed each week by the governor's office and public health experts to determine when the counties can move forward in the state's reopening plan.
"If we do not act immediately, we could see the virus spread even more rapidly, infecting and killing more community members," Brown said. "I know that this is difficult news for business owners and working families in the region."
INTERACTIVE: Oregon Coronavirus Map
The state released more information about the rising cases in each county:
- Umatilla County has more cases of COVID-19 per capita than any other Oregon county, at 234 cases per 10,000 people.
- The county has a weekly test positivity rate of 23%, far above the state average.
- In the last two weeks, the county has reported an average of 51 new cases per day.
- About 45% of cases in Umatilla County in the last week are sporadic cases that cannot be traced back to a known source.
- COVID-19 spread in the county progressed from early outbreaks linked to social and family gatherings to outbreaks in large food processing facilities, as well as other agricultural settings, workplaces, nursing homes, correctional facilities, and among health care providers.
- The Oregon Health Authority provided 7 case investigators and 29 contact tracers to Umatilla County on June 26, and has continued to support the county with case investigators and contact tracers since.
- Morrow County has 213 cases per 10,000 people.
- The county has a weekly test positivity rate of 30%, far above the state average.
- Morrow County has reported an average of 7 new cases per day over the last two weeks.
- Roughly 52% of all cases from the last week were sporadic cases that could not be traced back to a known source.
- The outbreak in Morrow County first began with social gatherings but that then led to cases linked to large food processing facilities and agricultural facilities.
- The Oregon Health Authority deployed 2 case investigators and 1 public information officer to Morrow County on July 18.
What does baseline stay-home status mean?
The following measures apply in baseline stay-home status:
- All individuals should minimize all non-essential travel and stay at their home or place of residence as much as possible.
- All businesses and non-profits must implement work-from-home or telework policies for employees to the maximum extent possible.
- Civic, cultural, and faith-based gatherings are limited to 25 people.
- All indoor and outdoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people
- Grocery stores and retail, museums, pharmacies, banks and credit unions, and gas stations remain open.
- Restaurants must move to take-out or delivery only.
- Gyms, malls, venues, indoor and outdoor entertainment facilities, and personal services businesses must close.
- Recreational and youth sports are no longer permitted.
- Pools, spas, sports courts, and playgrounds must close.
What does Phase 1 mean?
The following measures apply in Phase 1:
- Recreational and youth sports, venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, and pools remain closed.
- Non-essential local travel is allowed.
- Personal service businesses are allowed to operate with health and safety measures in place.
- Restaurants and bars are open for dine-in service until 10 p.m. with health and safety measures in place.
- Indoor social gatherings remain capped at 10 people with physical distancing, with other gatherings limited to 50 indoors, 50 outdoors. This means that indoor gatherings, including faith-based, civic and cultural gatherings are limited to 50 indoors and 50 outdoors.