Clackamas County not quite ready for Lower Risk level

Coronavirus

Clackamas County needs more residents to get vaccinated

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Clackamas County officials plan to submit their equity plan to the state in an effort to move out of the High Risk level for COVID. But a big issue is not having enough county residents that are vaccinated.

Gov. Kate Brown drew the line: When a county gets to 65% of its residents with at least one dose of the vaccine, that county would move down in risk level. Clackamas County is close.

Philip Mason-Joyner, the director of Clackamas County Public Health, told KOIN 6 News they need about 15,000 more residents to be vaccinated. They have already administered 200,000 doses and expect to get to the level needed soon.

One big challenge is the geography of the county. The residents are more spread out over the nearly 2000-square miles than residents are in Multnomah or Washington counties.

“It’s made a big difference, which is why we’ve had clinics regularly in Sandy, Molalla and Canby,” Mason-Joyner said. “Our clinics in Estacada and Welches on the mountain, they’ve said if you hadn’t brought the vaccine to us we wouldn’t have gotten it. Doing those clinics will be critical to reach folks.”

The plan is to have more local community shot clinics at schools, plus working with businesses to offer more mobile on-site shot clinics to make it easier for workers to get vaccinated.

The weekly averages for counties on the OHA website shows there is still demand for the vaccinations, but it’s been dipping over the past month from a high of 3600 shots-per-day to 2400 shots-per-day this past week.

But Clackamas County leaders think they’re in position to be able to move to lower risk and ease restrictions. But it will take at least a week — or more. Getting those 15,000 shots to hit the 65% vaccinated mark looks like a stretch for next week if the numbers of those getting vaccinated keeps dropping.

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