Gov. Kate Brown has ordered the rural Oregon county with the worst outbreak of COVID-19 back to staying at home.
The renewed stay-home order takes effect in Umatilla County on July 31 at noon. It's the first time the governor has pulled a county back from reopening.
"After weeks of trying other measures to get the disease under control, our only option is to temporarily close certain businesses and other community amenities," said Brown in a July 30 statement. "I am hopeful that these measures will help the community control the spread of COVID-19 quickly."
Restaurants in Umatilla County must move to takeout and delivery only. And the following businesses must close: "gyms, malls, venues, indoor and outdoor entertainment facilities, and personal services businesses."
Morrow County, meanwhile, must return to Phase 1.
Umatilla County, which includes the cities of Hermiston and Pendleton, has seen a resurgence in the virus lasting most of July. As WW reported earlier this month, Umatilla County had a higher rate of cases than Arizona, a state that was experiencing the worst outbreak in the country.
The governor's office provided a bullet point list of facts about the county, including:
*Umatilla County has more cases of COVID-19 per capita than any other Oregon county, at 234 cases per 10,000 people.
*The county has a weekly test positivity rate of 23%, far above the state average.
*In the last two weeks, the county has reported an average of 51 new cases per day.
*About 45% of cases in Umatilla County in the last week are sporadic cases that cannot be traced back to a known source.
The governor's office says the Oregon Health Authority assigned seven case investigators and 29 contact tracers to Umatilla County beginning July 26.
Morrow County has only a slightly lower case rate: 213 cases per 10,000 people. The positivity rate is higher than Umatilla's, suggesting a wider outbreak: 30%. But the number of new cases per day is lower: seven.
OHA has helped the county with two case investigators and one public information officer.