Oregon Governor sets 70% vaccination target to advance re-opening

Oregon Governor Kate Brown Press Conference 04 02 21

SALEM, Oreg. — Since the start of the pandemic, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has been strict about COVID-19 protocols. With vaccination efforts throughout the United States in full effect, she is setting a new target to speed up the re-opening of the state’s economy.

As first reported by KPTV, Brown set a new goal this Tuesday of having 70 percent of the state population age 16+ with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before easing some pandemic-imposed restrictions on businesses and health/safety protocols.

“Thanks to you, Oregon, it looks like we’ve crossed the tipping point of the fourth surge,” Brown said. “Our hospitalization rates have stabilized. Our infection rates are on a downward trajectory. And in the race between vaccines and variants, our efforts to vaccinate Oregonians are taking the lead. We still have some work to do to reach our 70 percent goal, but I am confident we can get there in June and return Oregon to a sense of normalcy.”

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Here are some of the changes from the Governor’s office that will occur once a county reached 70% vaccinations:

  • After achieving 70%, Oregon may continue requiring some use of masks and physical distancing and will continue to evaluate the use of these tools as we learn more from the CDC and evaluate Oregon’s COVID-19 conditions and experience.
  • All other health and safety requirements for counties under the Risk Level framework will be lifted, and counties will no longer be assigned risk levels. (Oregon public schools will still be required to follow Ready Schools, Safe Learners health and safety requirements, with the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education updating that guidance for the 2021-22 school year to lift most restrictions based on CDC guidance.)
  • Statewide, Oregon must continue to work towards closing equity gaps for communities of color.

Currently, 28 of the state’s 36 counties (77.8%) are considered to be at moderate or high risk. To find out more about what those risk levels mean for businesses and re-opening, click here.

Oregon state officials will assess COVID-19 metrics for each county on a bi-weekly basis for counties that have not vaccinated 65 percent of the eligible population. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) officials will announce the results of their regional metric assessments again on Tuesday, May 25.

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