After being listed as one of the worst counties in the state for months in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, Coos County has made almost a complete turnaround.
Gov. Kate Brown's office announced Tuesday that Coos County will return to the low-risk tier for COVID, effective Wednesday. Over the last two weeks, Coos County has recorded 20 new COVID cases, a rate of 31.6 per 100,000 people. In Oregon, any county with a rate lower than 50 per 100,000 people is considered low risk.
"We're going to get an early slide down along with Lane County," said Dr. Eric Gleason, assistant director of Coos Health & Wellness.
The state typically moves counties to new tiers the Friday after changes are announced, but the governor's office decided to move Coos and Lane counties two days early.
Gleason said Coos County has had 54.6 percent of its adult residents vaccinated. Across Oregon, more than 66 percent of people have been vaccinated. Brown announced recently when the state reaches 70 percent of adults vaccinated, most COVID restrictions will be lifted.
"All great news," Gleason said. "I think we're almost ready to say we did it. I fell pretty excited to get back down to low."
Gleason said the key to eliminating COVID is to get vaccinated. He said there are vaccinations sites available every day and encouraged anyone who is not vaccinated to make an appointment and get the vaccine.
"Right nw. we're in a tale of two pandemics," Gleason said. "There's a pandemic for those of us who have been vaccinated and a pandemic for those who have not. At this point, COVID is a preventable disease."
To make an appointment for the COVID vaccine, visit https://cooshealthandwellness.org/public-health/covid-19-vaccine-information and click on book an appointment.