Curry County could move out of the extreme-risk level of state virus restrictions during the next level reassignment — if current case trends continue.
The county reported a slight decline in cases last week from the week before, though it also reported a slight uptick in test positivity in the same March 14 through 27 timeframe.
Still, the current rate of virus spread in the community is still one of the worst in the state: The county’s test positivity rate is tied with Coos County for being the state’s highest during the timeframe, and its per-person case count is the fourth highest of the state’s 36 counties.
The figures put the county on the edge of changing restrictions: The state will announce new restriction levels Tuesday, which will take affect Friday. A two-week case count below 60 and a positivity rate below 10% would open the county back to the high-risk level, with indoor dining reopened, while anything above that would keep those businesses closed.
For the two weeks ending March 27, the county saw 54 new cases of the virus, and a test positivity of 7.6%.
According to County Public Health Administrator Sherrié Ward, 17 new cases of the virus were reported in the county between March 23 and 29. That includes 11 from south Curry County and six from central Curry County.
The new cases — as most others have been — are related to large families, schools and work places, Ward said in a news release Monday.
Vaccinations are also continuing in Curry County.
By Tuesday, just over 6,300 residents had received a COVID-19 vaccine, giving the county the 13th highest per-person vaccination rate in the state.
A large share of those have come from Curry Health Network, which is vaccinating county residents at weekly events and is increasing the number of doses it administers as it receives greater supply.
As of April 5, the group able to get vaccines will again expand in Oregon to include frontline workers, those in multigenerational households and those 16 and older with certain underlying health conditions — as well as those over 45 with certain conditions, those in congregate housing, seafood and food processing workers and seniors who were already eligible.
The state has a complex series of definitions for each newly eligible group: Frontline workers include those whose jobs put them close to other people, like grocery and retail workers, food service workers, and many other professions.
Underlying conditions include cancer, COPD, obesity and heart conditions, among others. A complete slate of eligibility guidelines is available on the state’s website at covidvaccine.oregon.gov/.
Starting May 1, anyone 16 or older will be eligible for a vaccine in Oregon.
Where are vaccines available?
Curry Health Network is continuing to distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses to county residents. The hospital network is keeping waitlists for anyone, in any group, interested in receiving a vaccine, online at www.curryhealthnetwork.com/education.
Several pharmacies are administering vaccines separately. Each has its own policies, but is bound by the state’s guidance, meaning those who are currently eligible for vaccines can sign up for appointments.
Safeway pharmacies at multiple locations are administering doses. Appointments can be made online at www.mhealthappointments.com/covidappt.
Walmart has begun administering vaccines. Appointments can be made online at www.walmart.com/COVIDvaccine.
Bi-Mart pharmacies at some locations are administering vaccines. Appointments can be made online at www.bimart.com/pharmacy/covid-19-vaccine.
Some Health Mart pharmacies, which have locations in Reedsport and Gold Beach, are administering vaccines. Appointments can be made online at www.healthmartcovidvaccine.com.