(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today announced vaccination targets to more fully reopen Oregon’s economy, setting a 70% statewide goal to reach Oregonians 16 and older with a first dose to lift most Risk Level restrictions. Additionally, beginning on May 21, counties will have the option of moving to the Lower Risk level once 65% of county residents 16 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and counties have submitted a complete plan to close equity gaps in vaccination.
“Thanks to you, Oregon, it looks like we’ve crossed the tipping point of the fourth surge,” said Governor Brown. “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% goal, but I am confident we can get there in June and return Oregon to a sense of normalcy.
“So Oregon, this is our goal. We each play a part. If you have already been vaccinated, thank you. Now help a friend, family member or neighbor make an appointment. Spread the word that folks can call 2-1-1 or visit covidvaccine.oregon.gov for more information.”
Statewide lifting of Risk Level framework
Statewide, the Governor announced her goal that Oregon reach 70% of the population 16 and older with a first vaccine dose in order to more fully reopen Oregon’s economy by lifting most of the health and safety restrictions imposed by the Risk Level framework.
- 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.
Counties eligible for option to move to Lower Risk, beginning May 21
Beginning May 21, the Governor announced, counties will have the option to move weekly to the Lower Risk health and safety restrictions in Oregon’s Risk Level Framework. County movements will be announced on May 18. To move to Lower Risk, counties must:
- Reach 65% of the county population 16 or older with a first vaccine dose.
- Submit a complete plan to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) which details how the county will close the equity gaps in their vaccination efforts.
- Counties will be eligible for state resources to help achieve these goals, and will be eligible for additional funding as they demonstrate making progress towards closing their equity gaps.
County Risk Level movements, effective May 14
Governor Brown today also announced updates to county risk levels under the state’s public health framework to reduce transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19. This week, Grant, Lincoln, and Wasco counties will move to the Moderate Risk level, down from High Risk. Effective Friday, May 14, 21 counties will remain in High Risk, 7 counties will be in Moderate Risk, and 8 counties will be in Lower Risk.
Here is the complete list of counties and their risk levels:
County Risk Categories, Effective May 14 – 20 Changes from Previous Period are Marked in Green and Red
Lower Risk (8)
Moderate Risk (7)
Grant (Moved from High)
Lincoln (Moved from High)
Wasco (Moved from High)
High Risk (21)
With Oregon no longer meeting the statewide hospitalization metrics for Extreme Risk, following this week, Oregon will return to a two-week cycle for risk level changes for counties that have not vaccinated at least 65% of their population. Following the announcement of county movements to Lower Risk based on reaching vaccination goals on May 18, the next risk level changes will be announced on Tuesday, May 25, to take effect on Friday, May 28.
- A copy of the Governor’s prepared remarks from today‘s press conference is available here.
- More information on vaccines is available at covidvaccine.oregon.gov.
- A recording of today‘s live-streamed press conference is available on YouTube. Please note the video starts at the 18:09 mark.
- A recording of a Spanish language translation is available on OHA’s Facebook page.
- An HD recording of today‘s press conference for members of the media is available on Vimeo.