PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gov. Kate Brown said she is hoping to lift most COVID restrictions in the state once 70% of Oregonians ages 16 and older are vaccinated.
“I’m confident we can get there in June and return Oregon to a sense of normalcy,” she said.
She said this week will mark 2 million Oregonians receiving a first dose of a COVID vaccine – more than half the adult population. About 49% of the adult population has had their first dose, with 36% of the population fully vaccinated.
“This brings us to a pivotal moment we’ve all been waiting for…we can truly begin taking steps into next chapter of post pandemic life,” she said.
“Once we cross that statewide goal, yes, that means no more county risk levels and a lifting of most restrictions — including capacity limits for venues and businesses and limits on group sizes,” Brown announced Tuesday.
As part of the new goal of having 70% of the state vaccinated, Brown said that once a county has 65% of the population with a first dose, they have option to move to lower risk category starting May 21. The county also must submit a plan for closing the vaccine equity gap.
Brown said that masks and physical distancing may remain in effect, in line with CDC guidance.
“To hit 70% of adult Oregonians vaccinated with at least one dose by the end of June, Oregon would need to administer 8,700 first doses per day over the next seven weeks. As of yesterday, Oregon is averaging a total of 34,869 first and second doses each day,” OHA Director Pat Allen said.
Allen said four counties – Deschutes, Lincoln, Multnomah and Washington – have already vaccinated more than 60% of their adult population. They likely will reach 65% soon and should be ready to move to low-risk by May 21, unless they opt out or do not submit an equity plan.
This press conference comes one day after it was announced the mass vaccination site at the Oregon Convention Center expects to close by mid-June. The site opened on January 20 and has administered nearly 465,000 vaccinations.
OCC will continue to offer first doses until May 27. In June, they will only offer second doses, with a projection to close entirely by June 19.
A growing list of higher education institutions are requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students and employees for the upcoming fall term.
Western Oregon University and University of Oregon both announced plans to require the COVID-19 vaccines for students this fall.
COVID-19 vaccination requirements for the fall term were also announced for Oregon State University and Portland State University, in addition to other Portland area higher education institutions.