Officials urge caution as COVID cases see spike


On March 23, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a statement commemorating one year after she signed Oregon’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order.

“One year ago, Oregonians stayed home and worked together to protect our loved ones from a disease we were just beginning to understand. Thanks to your smart choices over the last year, Oregon continues to have some of the lowest numbers for COVID-19 cases and deaths in the nation,” she said.

The governor also released a new vaccination timeline, which could see more people eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by April 5.

Last Friday, Lane County shifted down to “lower risk” of community spread of COVID-19. However, the county urged people to continue practicing healthy behaviors due to an increase in cases in the past week.

According to Lane County Public Health, “LCPH is seeing more cases as a result of social gatherings. With 29 cases on Wednesday and 34 [Friday], this could be the beginning of another spike. LCPH urges all community members to continue distancing, masking and avoiding unnecessary social gatherings if possible.”

The lessening restrictions due to the lower risk county metric happened right at the tail-end of spring break. The designation will last for two weeks, until April 8. In that time, Oregon Health Authority will continue to analyze COVID-19 statistics. 

If cases increase, Lane County could go back to a higher risk designation. It won’t be the first time that a county has gone back to higher restrictions. 

Under the lower risk designation, more of the county will reopen, though still with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. Many activities that were restricted under higher risk levels are allowed. 

This includes increased people capacity and operating hours for several business types. 

More information is available at coronavirus.oregon.gov.

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