Red alert in latest COVID-19 forecast
The spread of COVID-19 is accelerating throughout the state, driven by more transmissible variants and our actions, said state epidemiologist, Dr. Dean Sidelinger, at today’s press conference.
Daily cases, percent positivity and hospitalizations continue to rise sharply.
“A fourth wave is upon us,” said Dr. Sidelinger. He warned that if spread continues at this rate, Oregon hospitals risk being swamped by virus-stricken patients, and counties could return to higher risk levels.
He urged people in Oregon to act now to contain the virus.
“We can slow the virus by continuing to wear masks, gather more safely and maintain physical distancing. And, of course, by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Twelve counties could move back to Extreme Risk next week
As Oregon faces a fourth surge of COVID-19, Governor Kate Brown announced at today’s press conference that 12 counties could move back to Extreme Risk on Friday April 30 without an intervening “warning week.” Decisions will be made early next week after county data has been analyzed.
The county risk level framework uses four different risk levels for counties based on COVID-19 spread—Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Lower Risk—and assigns health and safety measures for each level. Usually, county risk levels are reassigned every two weeks and the first week’s data provides a “warning week” to prepare counties for potential risk level changes. Governor Brown canceled the “warning week” amid the current surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.