This State Just Imposed a COVID Lockdown
Due to an outbreak of coronavirus cases, Oregon is moving 15 counties to the Extreme Risk level effective Friday, April 30 through Thursday, May 6; activities like indoor dining will be banned. "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," said Governor Kate Brown. "Today's announcement will save lives and help stop COVID-19 hospitalizations from spiking even higher. 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." Read on to see why cases might rise in your state—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.
Gov. Brown Said She Would Keep Restrictions Going Until it Was Safe
Governor Brown said: "The fastest way to lift health and safety restrictions is for Oregonians to get vaccinated as quickly as possible and follow the safety measures we know stop this virus from spreading. I recognize the burden these restrictions place on Oregon businesses and working families. My goal is to lift these restrictions as soon as it is safely possible, and keep Oregon on the path for lifting most health and safety requirements by the end of June so we can fully reopen our economy. But we will only get there if enough Oregonians get vaccinated. There are appointments available right now all across the state." In addition to the Extreme Risk restrictions, nine counties will be in the High Risk level, four at Moderate Risk, and eight at Lower Risk.
Gov. Brown Urged Any Gatherings Be Done Outdoors
The same day as Brown's announcement, the CDC reiterated that COVID was less likely to be caught outdoors. Governor Brown implored people to heed this advice: "We know that the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower outdoors. I am urging all Oregonians, if you choose to gather with others, keep it outdoors. Indoor transmission is a key driver in the COVID-19 surge that is making renewed health and safety restrictions necessary." You can, however, eat at restaurants that have outdoor dining.
Gov. Brown Implored People to Get Vaccinated, as Supply Outweighs Demand
Brown's announcement comes as the state has more vaccines than people who want them. "There are appointments available right now all across the state," Brown said. She implored people to get theirs—if not for themselves, then for their fellow man. "I want to thank hospital and health care leaders for the work they are doing to manage hospital bed space, so that no Oregonian is turned away from receiving the health care they need. Now, I am asking Oregonians to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities so we can help support our nurses, doctors, and frontline health care workers."
The COVID Variants are One Cause of Rising Cases
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has been expressing optimism tempered by realism. He has said the variants are spreading COVID faster, and it's a race between the vaccines and the virus. True herd immunity will be a while away. "We are still in a very precarious place with regard to viral dynamics," Fauci said this week. "[But] if we can get 3 million people a day vaccinated, literally within a period of a few weeks we're going to start to see a turning around of the dynamics, [but] not down to no infections. If you're waiting for classic, measles-like herd immunity, that's going to be a while before we get there. But that doesn't mean we're not going to have a significant diminution in the number of infections per day."
How to Stay Safe No Matter Where You Live
Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.