Starting tomorrow, December 3, 2020 Lincoln County will enter the “high risk” category for Oregon’s Risk; Protection Framework. This is due to a significant increase in cases over the last 2 weeks. Our case rate went from 44 cases per 100 thousand people in the first two-weeks of November to 161.6 cases per 100,000 people in the last two weeks of November. Lincoln County has launched a website with current information available from the state on this new framework here:
Currently, Lincoln County is working various outbreaks including households
outbreaks as well as workplace outbreaks. Three have reached public
reporting criteria: Avamere, Chinook Winds Casino Resort, and First Student
bus company. Public health announces business outbreaks if the business has
at least 30 employees and 5 cases.
“It is extremely important that our local residents follow the guidelines announced by the State of Oregon this week, as well as all the guidelines we’ve been sharing since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Florence Pourtal, Deputy Director of Public Health. “We are in a different situation today than we were when we had a surge in cases last summer.
Now, our local hospitals do not have many options left for transferring patients out to other hospitals as COVID cases have surged throughout the state for weeks and hospital capacity
is limited. We also need to get our children back into schools."
"The new framework and the school metrics are aligned and being in the high risk category for our county means that the schools have to start thinking about how to transition back to comprehensive distance learning only for all kids. This will be a throwback for everyone if we do not get this surge under control.”
“Despite this news, we have reasons to be hopeful,” said Rebecca Austen,
Health Department Director. “We have lowered our cases dramatically before,
and we can do it again. There are also vaccines moving forward now in trials
and securing emergency use authorizations at the federal level. We could see
some as early as the end of this month available for some of the healthcare
workforce in Oregon.”
Oregon and Lincoln County have been planning for COVID-19 vaccine
distribution. Current plans will give priority to some healthcare workers and
long-term care facilities for the first round of vaccines, then additional at-risk
populations. It is unknown how many vaccines Lincoln County will get initially.
Public Health will be creating a vaccine information website for the public to
stay up to date.
Information provided by LCHHS