Oregon Governor Kate Brown

Fifteen Oregon counties — not including Coos or Curry — will see new restrictions this week, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday.

“If we don’t act now, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other health care providers in Oregon will be stretched to their limits treating severe cases of COVID-19,” Brown wrote in a press release. “With new COVID-19 variants widespread in so many of our communities, it will take all of us working together to bring this back under control.”

The announcement means indoor dining and recreation will be prohibited as the affected counties are pushed back into the extreme-risk level of virus regulations starting Friday.

The qualifying counties include: Baker, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk and Wasco.

The extreme-risk designations were triggered when the state hit a metric health officials laid out earlier this month: A sharp increase in virus hospitalizations, with over 300 hospitalized with the virus statewide.

State officials will re-evaluate county health data each Tuesday to assign new levels to take effect the following Friday. The counties will remain in the extreme level for a maximum of three weeks, according to the governor’s office.

Brown forecasted the risk level moves in a press conference last week, announcing her plan to skip a “warning week” and initiate new risk levels a week ahead of originally scheduled:

Reporter Zack Demars can be reached at worldnews3@countrymedia.net.

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