Baker County's risk level under Oregon's COVID-19 guidelines will risk from the lowest risk level to high risk starting Friday, April 23, and remain there through at least May 6, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday afternoon.

The county has been at the lowest or moderate risk level since Feb. 12.

The change that takes effect April 23 is based on the county recording 79 new COVID-19 cases during the most recent two-week measuring period, April 3-17.

That would actually put the county into the highest risk level — "extreme" — but Brown recently changed the system so that no county will move into the extreme level so long as either fewer than 300 people are hospitalized statewide for COVID-19 treatment, or the hospitalization rate has increased by less than 15% in the past week. As of Monday, April 19, there were 243 people being treated in hospitals for the virus.

Baker County and 10 other of Oregon's 36 counties would have qualified to move into the extreme risk under the previous system.

Among the effects on local businesses and events when Baker County moves from lowest to high risk:

• Restaurants, bars, theaters and indoor gyms and fitness centers

The current limit of 50% capacity goes to 25% of capacity or 50 total people, whichever is fewer. Restaurants, bars and theaters must close at 11 p.m., instead of the current midnight.

• Retail stores, including grocery stores

The current limit of 75% of capacity drops to 50%

• Outdoor recreation, including K-12 sports

Current limit of 300 people drops to 75

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.