Multnomah County moving to Lower Risk May 27

Governor Kate Brown announced that Multnomah County would be moving to Lower Risk on Thursday, May 27. The announcement comes in light of Multnomah vaccinating 65% of its residents ages 16 and older and submitting a comprehensive vaccination plan that addresses equity gaps. Multnomah’s vaccination progress can be viewed here and a copy of its equity plan can be found here.

The following is the complete list of counties that will be in Lower Risk by May 27:

  • Benton
  • Deschutes
  • Hood River
  • Lincoln
  • Multnomah
  • Washington

Every week, other Oregon counties will have the opportunity to apply for Lower Risk. To do so, counties will have to vaccinate at least 65% of their residents ages 16 and older and submit a comprehensive vaccination plan to OHA that addresses equity gaps.

As Oregon counties create their equity plans, OHA will post these documents on its main COVID-19 website. You can find the existing collection of equity plans here.

The next opportunity to move to Lower Risk will happen on Tuesday, June 1. Counties that meet the criteria required by June 1 will be moved to Lower Risk on Friday, June 4.

Lower Risk level guidance update

On May 24, Governor Brown’s office distributed a separate press release indicating that changes had been made to the safety guidance for Lower Risk counties. The new guidance was developed by OHA — in partnership with the Governor’s Office and the Portland Trail Blazers — to allow businesses, venues and faith institutions to create “vaccinated sections” for their guests.

On May 18, OHA updated its guidance for fully vaccinated individuals to mirror the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) findings that fully vaccinated individuals would no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, “except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

You can read more about the guidance update here.

For counties in Lower Risk, vaccinated sections at businesses, venues and faith institutions will provide the following opportunities:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals ages 16 and older who have proof that they are fully vaccinated will not have to worry about capacity limits or physically distance in vaccinated sections.
  • Businesses, venues and faith institutions have the option to require additional safety protocols within their vaccinated sections.
  • All children up to age 15 wearing a face covering will be permitted in vaccinated sections if they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent of guardian.
  • Unvaccinated sections must continue to use masks, physically distance and abide by capacity limits.

Furthermore, fully vaccinated individuals in designated vaccinated sections will not count toward the capacity limits of businesses, venues or faith institutions in Lower Risk counties. These entities must have a policy in place that shows they are checking the vaccination status of all individuals who are attempting to enter vaccinated sections as fully vaccinated individuals.

Unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or individuals whose vaccination status has not been confirmed will continue to count towards the capacity limits expressed in the Sector Risk Level Guidance Chart. Click on the image below to learn more.