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25 Oregon counties will be at extreme risk level, have strictest COVID-19 restrictions starting Friday

Tillamook County moved from extreme risk to lower risk, Curry County moved from moderate to lower risk and Grant County moved from lower to moderate risk.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Twenty-five Oregon counties have been classified under the state’s most severe COVID-19 restrictions beginning Jan. 29 until Feb. 11, when the counties will be reassessed.

Though there is one less county in the extreme category than there was last time, as Tillamook County moved from extreme risk to lower risk, Gov. Brown pointed out that most of the state is still in the extreme risk category.

"This is an important reminder for all Oregonians to continue to do their part by abiding by the health and safety guidelines in place," said Gov. Brown in a press release. "Until vaccines are widely available with high participation rates, the surest way to lower our risk and open our businesses and communities is to continue practicing the measures we know are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 — wear your mask, keep physical distance from others, avoid gatherings, wash your hands often, and stay home when you are sick."

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) did not have a specific reason for the substantial move of Tillamook County but said the lower case and positivity rate could be attributed to Oregonians implementing simple guidelines like social distancing and mask-wearing.

Only three other counties moved risk categories: Grant County, which moved from lower risk to moderate risk, Curry County, which moved from moderate risk to lower risk and Lake County, which moved from moderate risk to lower risk.

There are new guidelines for the extreme risk category that will also go into effect on Jan. 29. The modifications will allow for a maximum of six people indoors at facilities over 500 square feet. This new guidelines applies to all indoor activities, including gyms and movie theaters, except dining. This modification will be in addition to social distancing, cleaning protocols and face coverings.

For buildings smaller than 500 square feet, it allows for one-on-one in-person experiences such as personal training.

RELATED: New guidelines allow movie theaters to reopen in Oregon's 'extreme risk' counties

Gym owners and people who visit gyms have made their opinion heard about the prior inability to have people inside of their gyms, stating concerns for mental and physical health during the pandemic.

RELATED: 'It feels like a big slap in the face': Gym owners argue Oregon's new regulations aren't sustainable

"The science has shown us that outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities when it comes to the spread of COVID-19, which is why we have clearly delineated guidance between indoor and outdoor activities," Brown said. "We have seen over the last several weeks that Oregonians have largely complied with risk levels to the point that we have not seen a surge in hospitalizations that would have jeopardized hospital capacity. This means we are able to make these adjustments for Extreme Risk counties, which should assist both businesses and Oregonians as we continue to work to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Here is the full risk levels list as released by OHA:

Lower Risk (8) 

  • Curry (moved from moderate)
  • Gilliam
  • Harney
  • Lake (moved from moderate)
  • Sherman
  • Tillamook (moved from extreme)
  • Wallowa
  • Wheeler

Moderate Risk (1) 

  • Grant (moved from lower)

High Risk (2) 

  • Douglas
  • Lincoln

Extreme Risk (25) 

  • Baker
  • Benton
  • Clackamas
  • Clatsop
  • Columbia
  • Coos
  • Crook
  • Deschutes
  • Hood River
  • Jackson
  • Jefferson
  • Josephine
  • Klamath
  • Lane
  • Linn
  • Malheur
  • Marion
  • Morrow
  • Multnomah
  • Polk
  • Umatilla
  • Union
  • Wasco
  • Washington
  • Yamhill

Here's a look at which metrics determine the risk level for each county:

In counties with extreme risk, the following activities will be allowed, with health and safety protocols in place. For a complete list of rules for every risk category, see the Sector Risk Level Guidance Chart below:

  • Social and at-home gatherings with people from outside your household will be limited to a maximum of six people, with a recommended limit of two households.
  • Restaurants, bars and other eating and drinking establishments will be limited to a maximum of 50 people for outdoor dining only, with only six people per table. Take-out is strongly encouraged.
  • Indoor recreation, fitness and entertainment establishments, including gyms and movie theaters can open with a maximum of 6 people total, not including employees, for establishments that are 500 square feet or larger. For establishments smaller than 500 square feet, capacity is limited to one person total.
  • Outdoor recreation, fitness and entertainment activities, including outdoor gym activities, will be allowed, with a maximum limit of 50 people outdoors.
  • Retail stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and indoor and outdoor shopping centers and malls will be limited to a maximum of 50% of capacity, with curbside pick-up encouraged.
  • Faith institutions, funeral homes, mortuaries and cemeteries will be limited to a maximum of 25% of capacity or 100 people indoors (whichever is smaller), or 150 people outdoors.
  • Office workplaces will be required to utilize remote work to the maximum extent possible, with public-facing offices closed to the public.
  • Personal services businesses will be allowed to continue to operate with health and safety measures in place.
  • Long-term care facilities can allow limited outdoor visitation, following established health and safety protocols.

Read the full list of rules for each risk category below:

According to OHA, disease spread and percent positivity determine the risk level for activities allowed. There is more information about county risk levels and an interactive map to see your county and what it means to be in its assigned category here on OHA’s website.

OHA lists the following advice to help lower your county’s risk level:

  • Wear a mask in public.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Keep at least six feet of physical distance when in public.
  • Limit mixing with people you don't live with.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Follow OHA guidance on your county's risk level.

OHA has also listed guidance for different types of settings including dining, social and at-home gatherings, travel and more on its website.

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