Multnomah, Hood River counties removed from COVID ‘Watch List’


No counties have been added to the Watch List

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced both Multnomah and Hood River counties have been removed from the COVID-19 Watch List — and no other counties have been added.

Brown said both counties have reduced the spread of the coronavirus successfully enough to be taken off the Watch List. With their removal, six counties remain: Baker, Jackson, Jefferson, Malheur, Morrow and Umatilla.

Counties are added to the Watch List when the virus is spreading quickly and public health officials cannot trace the spread to a specific source. Being on the Watch List allows the state to prioritize resources and help, increases monitoring and deploys more technical assistance, officials said.

“We continue to see counties working diligently to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their communities—to the point where two more counties now come off the Watch List. I want to applaud county officials and community members in Hood River and Multnomah Counties for their efforts in curbing community spread of COVID-19,” Brown said.  “While no counties are being added to the Watch List this week, it’s still important that all Oregonians remain vigilant in protecting themselves and their friends, families, and neighbors from this disease. This means keeping up with physical distancing, wearing a face covering, staying home when sick, and washing your hands often.”

On Thursday, Oregon reported 25,761 total cases of the novel coronavirus, and new five new deaths bringing the statewide death toll to 438. Multnomah County has had more than 5,800 cases and 113 deaths, while Hood River has seen more than 220 cases and zero deaths.

This news comes a week after Brown said if she doesn’t see improvement in slowing the spread of COVID-19 across the state, she will be implementing more restrictions.

During a press conference last Friday, Brown threatened that the restrictions could be on businesses, like bars and restaurants, as well as travelers coming in from hotspots. She said she is considering adding the restrictions by the end of the month but there is no hard line for that date.

“We’re doing well, but we have to do better,” she said.

“We are on the right track, now we need to step on the gas,” Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said during the press conference.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger also spoke at the press conference, outlining various scenarios over the next four weeks. He said all the modeling shows we are headed in the right direction.

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