COVID-19 restrictions are easing in Multnomah County, starting today. Oregon’s most populous county is finally now in the “Lower Risk” category.
“It’s a great progress. I think it shows all the hard work and sacrifice that people have done after the last year and few months,” says Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson. She notes it has not been easy to get to this point. “Trying to keep COVID levels down and wearing masks and social distancing, it’s paid off, with us being able to move into Lower Risk.”
More than 65% of Multnomah County’s adults have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot. Restaurants and bars can now accept 50% capacity, with no upper limit on the number of people. Retail stores can reach 75% capacity.
In the Lower Risk category, restaurants and bars can stay open until MIDNIGHT, instead of 11 P.M.
The county had already surpassed the requirement to drop from High Risk to Lower Risk by last week. That’s when more than 65% of residents 16-and-older were vaccinated with at least one COVID-19 shot. “People have really stepped up and shown up in Multnomah County to get vaccinated,” says Vega Pederson.
She tells us county leaders wanted to make sure their equity plan was in place, and that it will continue efforts to get vaccines to those who’ve been harder to reach, and harder hit in the pandemic. She explained some of their efforts. “Setting up community clinics, specifically for Black, indigenous, and people of color communities. Using community leaders who can reach the population by doing very targeted messaging and events for people, so that they feel comfortable so they can get their questions answered.”
The county’s public health department is still urging everyone, vaccinated or not, to keep wearing masks indoors.