KWSO News for Wed., Apr. 28, 2021

Deschutes, Crook, & Wasco Counties are all making the move to extreme risk level for COVID-19 this Friday.  Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, Governor Kate Brown, yesterday, updated county risk levels under the state’s public health framework. With hospitalizations rising above 300 people statewide, threatening to overwhelm doctors and nurses, 15 counties will move to the Extreme Risk level effective Friday, April 30 through Thursday, May 6.   In addition, nine counties will be in the High Risk level, four at Moderate Risk, and eight at Lower Risk. In an effort to speed up the return to normal business operations, county COVID-19 data will be evaluated weekly for at least the next three weeks.   Under the Risk Level framework, counties move to (or remain in) Extreme Risk when they meet the county metrics for case rates and percent positivity, and Oregon meets statewide hospitalization metrics: COVID-19 positive patients occupying 300 hospital beds or more, and a 15% increase in the seven-day hospitalization average over the past week.

In yesterday’s local COVID-19 report shared that St. Charles hospitals were at 92.63% occupancy and ICUs at 90.00%.  There were 28 cases of Covid-19 with 6 of those patients in the ICU across the St Charles Health System.

In Warm Springs 2292 primary doses, of COVID-19 vaccine, have been administered and 1873 2nd (Booster) doses given.  Tomorrow – the one dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine will be offered at the Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center.  You can call for a vaccine appointment at 541-553-2131.  Eligibility for the vaccine in Warm Springs is for individuals and their family members who live or work in Warm Springs or who are Indian Health Service eligible.

There is a Vaccination opportunity this Friday that Jefferson County Public Health is coordinating at the Camp Sherman Community Hall from 9am – 4pm.  They will offer the Moderna Vaccine.  Walk-Ins are Welcome

On Monday in Salem,  House Bill 2526 passed the with bi-partisan support and now moves on for consideration in the Oregon Senate.  HB2526 replaces Christopher Columbus Day with Indigenous peoples.    If approved by the Senate – the second Monday of October each year would be designated as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  1937, Columbus Day become a federal holiday. Since 1971, it has been celebrated on the second Monday in October. Oregon does not observe Columbus Day as a state holiday.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month. Keep Oregon Green, in partnership with federal, state and local fire agencies and organizations, is promoting May as a great time to encourage the public to create defensible space around homes and prevent careless, unwanted wildfires this summer.  Last Labor Day, Oregon faced a rare and exceptionally strong east wind event during a prolonged dry period and heat wave. The wind drove explosive growth on wildfires that were already burning and sparked new ones. One Oregonian in 10 was under some level of evacuation notice, 9 people died, and 4,000 homes and 1,000 other structures were destroyed.  Five fires reached megafire size, burning over 100,000 acres each. Altogether, a million acres burned statewide in a little over a week – twice the average area burned in an entire year.  Over 70% of Oregon’s wildfires are started by people.  Please take time this spring to prepare yourself for wildfire season by creating defensible space around your home and by being fire safe with everything you do.