PORTLAND — People in 24 Oregon counties — including the county around Portland — and 15 counties in Washington state should resume mask-wearing indoors in public and on public transportation, according to recommendations from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Data from the CDC shows the counties are considered high risk for COVID-19 infection, KPTV reported. The Oregon counties include: Clatsop, Tillamook, Lincoln, Lane, Douglas, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson, Wasco, Sherman, Hood River, Clackamas, Washington, Multnomah, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Baker, and Malheur counties.
In Washington, the counties at high risk include: Clallam, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Lewis, Thurston, Pierce, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Walla Walla, Columbia, Asotin, Lincoln, Ferry and Spokane. That’s an increase from six Washington counties at high risk as of June 23.
The most recent community levels were calculated June 30.
High risk means the counties have had 200 or more new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, or they’ve had more than 20 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people within a seven-day period.
Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer at Public Health – Seattle & King County, said on Twitter Sunday that since April, the health agency has recommended that people wear high-quality masks in indoor public spaces, that people get all recommended COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses, and that indoor air quality should be improved and outdoor venues be prioritized.
Duchin said vaccines are working well to halt hospitalizations and death but infections and reinfections are more common with the new variants. The virus has evolved to be more contagious.
Emerging research suggests reinfections could put people at higher risk for health problems.
Unvaccinated people have a six times higher risk of dying from COVID-19 compared with people with at least a primary series of shots, the CDC estimated based on available data from April.