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Gov. Brown extends COVID-19 state of emergency for 60 more days

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday extended the state’s ongoing COVID-19 state of emergency through May 2, according to a news release.

The release referred to the state of emergency as Brown’s “legal underpinning” for executive orders and health and safety guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.

“As we vaccinate thousands of Oregonians each day and reopen more school buildings and businesses as safely as possible, now is not the time to let up our guard,” Brown said. “New, more infectious COVID-19 variants are circulating in the United States, including several confirmed cases in Oregon.”

OHA officials reported 10 deaths Thursday from the illness, increasing the statewide death toll to 2,204. Oregon’s case total since the pandemic began rose to 154,554 with 553 additional cases.

Jackson County Public Health reported 75 new cases of the illness and one new death, the most cases in the state, according to OHA data. The new cases raised the county’s total to 8,299.

The county’s COVID-19 risk level drops from “extreme” to “high” Friday, meaning slightly eased restrictions on indoor dining, indoor shopping centers, faith institutions and indoor entertainment venues. The improved risk level is due to the local case rate dropping below 200 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period — it was 174.9 — according to public health officials. The risk level would return to “extreme” if the case rate goes back up to 200 or more cases per 100,000 residents.

Jackson County Public Health reported the county’s 111th death from the disease, a 94-year-old man with underlying medical conditions who tested positive Dec. 29 and died Feb. 13 at his home.

OHA officials reported 13 new cases in Josephine County, raising the county’s cumulative total to 2,316. The county’s death toll remained at 49.

Thirty COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Jackson and Josephine county Thursday, four more than Wednesday, with eight in intensive care, one more than Wednesday.

Statewide, 156 Oregonians were hospitalized with the illness, six fewer than Wednesday, with 38 in ICU, eight fewer than Wednesday.

There were 305,366 Oregonians considered fully vaccinated Thursday against COVID-19, and 264,764 who had received the first dose, according to OHA data.

In Jackson County, 17,227 people were fully vaccinated, and 9,492 had received the first dose.

In Josephine County, 5,064 people were fully vaccinated, and 3,387 had received the first dose.