Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown today announced that two counties—Hood River and Multnomah—have succeeded in reducing the spread of COVID-19 sufficiently enough to be removed from the County Watch List. No counties have been added this week. This brings the total number of counties on the Watch List to six.
“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,” said Governor Brown.
Counties are placed on the Watch List when COVID-19 is spreading quickly and public health officials cannot trace that spread to specific sources—creating a potentially dangerous dynamic. Specific markers of this rapid community spread include when there is a sporadic case rate of 50 or more per 100,000 people in the last two weeks and the county has had more than five sporadic cases in the last two weeks (sporadic cases are those that cannot be traced to a source; they indicate community spread). Counties remain on the Watch List for a minimum of three weeks and until their sporadic case rates drop below these thresholds.
The County Watch List allows the state to prioritize resources and assistance to counties that are seeing the broadest spread of COVID-19. When a county is placed on the Watch List, the Oregon Health Authority increases monitoring and communication, and deploys additional technical assistance and resources, such as epidemiological support, case investigation, and contact tracing help.
Governor Brown added, “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,” said Governor Brown.
The complete County Watch List now includes the following six counties: Baker, Jackson, Jefferson, Malheur, Morrow, and Umatilla.