Four changes you should know as Lane County returns to ‘high risk’ | #seniorliving | #elderly | #seniors
Lane County will move back to “high risk” for COVID-19 on Friday, which means more limits on restaurants’ and businesses’ capacity and hours.
From April 23-May 6, there will be 23 counties in the “high risk,” three at “moderate risk,” and 10 at “lower risk.” County risk levels are reassigned every two weeks.
Here are big changes you need to know about:
1. Restaurant capacity
Eateries have been able to host patrons indoors at a 50% capacity and tables were allowed up to eight people; now it’s restricted to 25% capacity and six people a table. Closing time was midnight and will now be 11 p.m. Outdoor eating was capped at 300 people, now it will be limited to 75 people.
2. Gym capacity
Recreation and fitness centers were allowed 50% occupancy indoors; now can only have 25% capacity or 50 people total, whichever is smaller. They were limited to having 300 people outdoors, now establishments have an outdoor maximum of 15% capacity.
3. Worship capacity
Faith institutions, such as churches, mosques and synagogues as well as funeral homes, mortuaries and cemeteries, had an indoor capacity of 75% under lower risk protocol, now they can only have 25% capacity or 150 people total, whichever is smaller. Outdoor capacity will go from 300 to 200 people.
4. Store capacity
Indoor and outdoor shopping centers, malls and retail stores were allowed a maximum of 75% occupancy, more than any other business, now they must return to a maximum capacity of 50%
Some things won’t change. No matter what risk level a county is in, the statewide mask mandate still applies. Health officials recommend people limit gatherings to small groups, keep at least 6 feet away from people outside of their household, wash their hands often and stay home when they’re sick.
Why are we returning to ‘high risk’?
Despite the dispersal of thousands of vaccines, cases have surged locally and statewide this month. County risk levels are the state’s public health framework meant to curb the spread of the virus by limiting how many people can gather. For counties the size of Lane, the framework is based on two metrics: rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 over 14 days and percentage test positivity over the previous 14 days.
The high case counts in Lane County would have qualified the area for “extreme risk,” the risk level that incurs the most limits on business hours and capacity, but the Oregon Health Authority changed its metrics preventing 11 counties (including Lane) from entering “extreme risk.” Counties will not be given “extreme risk” status unless statewide there are 300 or more COIVD-19 patients occupying hospital beds as well as a 15% increase in the seven-day hospitalization average over the past week.
Cases on the rise:Lane County re-enters ‘high risk’ on Friday
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In other COVID news
Lane County sees no new COVID-19 deaths for fourth week in a row: Lane County Public Health reported 52 confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Thursday raising the countywide case count to 11,863. The death toll remained at 144 for a 17th consecutive day.
“This marks the fourth week we have not had a new death, which is fantastic,” Lane County Public Health spokesperson Jason Davis said at the Thursday morning press conference. “Definitely a trend that we want to continue.”
There were 338 considered infectious, down 3% from Wednesday’s 350.
Many of the current cases are coming from younger age groups. School-age kids made up 79 of this weeks cases, 20% of total cases, people 19 to 22 years old account for 92 cases, 23% of total cases. On Thursday, Davis announced a workplace outbreak of six cases at Rosboro Lumber Company.
Lane County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: As of Wednesday, 97,382 residents of Lane County have been fully vaccinated, 25.7% of the population, with 250,240 first and second doses administered.
The CDC considers someone fully vaccinated two weeks after they’ve been given a single-dose shot (Johnson & Johnson) or a second shot (either Pfizer or Moderna).
Oregon reported 176,157 total cases of coronavirus, an increase of 3% from the week before.
The five counties with the highest percentage of their population fully vaccinated in Oregon as of Tuesday are Baker (47%), Hood River (39%), Wheeler (35%), Lincoln (34%) and Wallowa (34%).
Oregon vaccination rates:
- 41% of people in Oregon have received at least one dose of the vaccine, for a total of 1,670,343 people
- 26% of people in Oregon are fully vaccinated, for a total of 1,080,273 people
Oregon reports highest daily COVID-19 case total in 3 months: Oregon health officials reported 989 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday — the state’s highest daily case count since mid-January.
The spike follows Oregon’s fourth consecutive week of surging daily cases and increasing hospitalizations, The Associated Press reported. According to most recent data from the state health authority, last week there was a 27% increase in cases. The state’s positivity rate is 5.3%.
Since the start of the pandemic, Oregon officials have recorded 177,134 COVID-19 cases. The state’s death toll is 2,466.
More than 1 million people in Oregon, or about one-fourth of the state’s population, have been fully vaccinated. On Monday, anyone 16 or older became eligible for the shots.
Although eligibility has opened up, health officials continue to warn that the virus, including variants, continues to spread through communities, senior living centers, workplaces, homes and even the state Capitol building. On Tuesday, officials canceled floor sessions for the rest of the week in the Oregon House of Representatives after someone in the building tested positive for COVID-19.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has warned businesses will be shut down again if hospitals become inundated with patients.
Lewis & Clark College to require vaccinations: Lewis & Clark College has announced that it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all students this fall.
According to a database maintained by the Chronicle of Higher Education, it’s the first institution in Oregon to announce that requirement, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
In an email to students sent Wednesday, the private college in Portland said all students must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption by Oct. 15. The policy doesn’t apply to online programs.
Contact reporter Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick at Tatiana@registerguard.com or 541-521-7512, and follow her on Twitter @TatianaSophiaPT. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.