SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,669 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Saturday, the state’s largest daily case count since the start of the pandemic.
The total number of coronavirus cases in Oregon has now surpassed 72,000 and the death toll is 896.
The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations also continues to surge with 529 people hospitalized — a 209% increase since the start of the month.
In an effort to slow down the spread of the virus, Gov. Kate Brown implemented a statewide two-week “freeze” that ends on Dec. 3. During the “freeze” restaurants are limited to takeout only, social gatherings cannot be more than six people, and gyms, among other facilities, are closed.
Once the “freeze” concludes, counties will be categorized by risk level — Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Lower Risk — that is determined by their case counts, positivity rate, hospital bed availability and transmission rate. Based on the county’s risk level different health and safety measures will apply.
Oregon’s most populous county, Multnomah County — along with 20 of the other 36 Oregon counties — is in the Extreme Risk category.
In counties labeled Extreme Risk, social gatherings will remain limited to six people, gyms will continue to be closed, the capacity of grocery stores and faith institutions will be reduced to 50%.
However, restaurants, bars, and other eating and drinking establishments will be open for dining, but the capacity will be 50 people and only outdoor dining is allowed.