Governor Kate Brown’s expected to announce she’ll move 14 Oregon counties, into the Extreme Risk category for COVID-19.
In just the past month, the number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations in Oregon has doubled. They’re now high enough to put those counties back into the most severe, extreme risk category for COVID-19. As of Monday, 319 people with COVID were in hospitals statewide.
Our news partner KGW asked officials at O.H.S.U. and Kaiser, who’s getting really sick right now. O.H.S.U.’s Dr. Matthias Merkel described the trend as, “Increased admission of younger patients. Some of them are not very sick to start with.” They are seeing patients in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s land in the hospital. Older people appear to have protection from vaccines.
The extreme risk category bans indoor dining at restaurants and severely limits indoor capacity at gyms, retail stores and other businesses.Ryan Rollins, who owns several local restaurants like PDX Sliders, told us how the extreme risk category affected his business and staff last spring. “We had to do significant layoffs, because we’ve been forced to do delivery and takeout only.” He said that represented about 20% of normal business.
Other businesses, like gyms and stores would have to severely limit how many people they let inside.