Baker County had another relatively quiet weekend on the COVID-19 front, with one new case on Saturday and no cases on Friday or Sunday.
For the first 30 days of May, the county had an average of 1.7 cases per day, the lowest rate since October 2020. Most of May’s cases — 27 of 51 — were reported in the first seven days. Since then the county has had zero cases on 10 days, and one case on seven days.
Although the county’s rate is well below the threshold of 30 during a two-week period needed for the county to remain at the lowest risk level under state guidelines, county officials are concerned about the test positivity rate.
That’s the second criteria the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reviews in setting risk levels.
To remain at the lowest risk level — which has the least stringent restrictions on businesses and activities — the county also needs to have a test positivity rate below 5%.
That rate for May 23-29 was 3.9%, and for the previous week it was 1.5%.
However, the number of tests being conducted in the county has dropped by about 40% over the past month or so, even a handful of new cases could potentially push the county’s positivity rate above 5%.
That has prompted the Baker County Health Department to schedule a free COVID-19 testing clinic on Thursday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot across from the Health Department, 2200 Fourth St.
The county plans to have testing clinics each Thursday during June.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says she hopes to cancel restrictions statewide by the end of June.