Linn County to move to ‘high’ risk Friday

Linn County will move into the statewide high-risk COVID-19 category on Friday, according to Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority.

County risk categories are adjusted every two weeks.

Linn County Board Chairman Roger Nyquist said the number of positive COVID-19 cases has increased due to people traveling outside of the immediate area and increased social gatherings.

We have not found increased cases linked to Linn County businesses or the resumption of in-person classes in area schools,” Nyquist said. “The number of positive cases as a percentage of total number of people tested remains below 5%, which is a good sign.”

Nyquist added that hospitalizations in the region remain low and the number of vaccinations per week continue to increase.

We encourage people to wear masks in accordance with state guidelines,” Nyquist said. “We also ask them to consider their group activities and interactions in general, per Centers for Disease Control guidelines.”

Nyquist said the uptick in positive cases is concerning, but county officials are also optimistic that in coming weeks, as more and more Linn County residents are vaccinated, the number of positive cases will drop.

Linn County will join Benton County, as well as Clackamas, Coos, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah and Tillamook in the High Risk category.

No counties are in the Extreme Risk category; 16 are in the Lower Risk category and six are in the Moderate Risk category.

We are at a critical moment in this pandemic as we face more contagious variants of COVID-19 taking hold in our communities,” Gov. Brown said Tuesday. “Now more than ever it’s imperative that we all continue wearing masks, maintain physical distance, stay home when sick, and get the vaccine when it’s available to you.”

Alex Paul, County Communications Officer