01-21-2021  7:35 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
The Associated Press
Published: 28 November 2020

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,669 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Saturday, the state's largest daily case count since the start of the pandemic. 

The total number of coronavirus cases in Oregon has now surpassed 72,000 and the death toll is 896. 

The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations also continues to surge with 529 people hospitalized — a 209% increase since the start of the month. 

In an effort to slow down the spread of the virus, Gov. Kate Brown implemented a statewide two-week “freeze” that ends on Dec. 3. During the “freeze” restaurants are limited to takeout only, social gatherings cannot be more than six people, and gyms, among other facilities, are closed. 

Once the “freeze” concludes, counties will be categorized by risk level — Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Lower Risk — that is determined by their case counts, positivity rate, hospital bed availability and transmission rate. Based on the county's risk level different health and safety measures will apply.

Restrictions to ease December 3

Multnomah County will move into the Extreme Risk category on Thursday, December 3, and will adopt the state’s criteria for restrictions.

In counties labeled Extreme Risk, social gatherings will remain limited to six people, gyms will continue to be closed, the capacity of grocery stores and faith institutions will be reduced to 50%. 

However, restaurants, bars, and other eating and drinking establishments will be open for dining, but the capacity will be 50 people and only outdoor dining is allowed.

“We are still facing potential spread that can overwhelm our health care in the next few weeks," said Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. 

“We can all do our part by limiting how much we mix with people outside our households, regardless of formal restrictions.” 

County officials advise the public to avoid the “three Cs:

  • Crowded spaces where you are around many people
  • Close contact settings where people take off their masks and have close conversations.
  • Confined space, which means any enclosed area with poor ventilation.

Officials remind us that we can protect one another by:

  • Wearing a mask indoors and out whenever you’re with anyone outside your household
  • Washing hands frequently.
  • Maintaining six feet distance.
  • Opening windows and doors often to improve airflow.

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