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Clackamas County exercises caution and holds off on Phase II reopening application

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At their Business Meeting on Thursday, June 11, the Board of County Commissioners agreed to exercise caution and to hold off on applying for Phase 2 reopening to ensure the county has a handle on the effects of Phase 1 reopening and allow time to train the 30 new contact tracers that were hired the week of June 8. 

The board will reconsider applying for Phase II reopening when the Oregon Health Authority releases the COVID-19 Public Health Indicators for Clackamas County next week. 

The county continues to experience an increase in COVID-19 cases. Currently, the county does not meet two of the six indicators required for reopening: 

  • Trend in percent of tests that are positive in the last seven days should not uptrend: We are not meeting this indicator. We are experiencing an upward trend in positive tests.
  • Percent increase in new cases in last seven days should be no more than 5%: We are not meeting this indicator. Cases have increased in Clackamas County by 191%.

“The partnership between public health and the entire community can help us stay safe and return to a new normal,” Dr. Sarah Present said at Thursday’s Board of County Commissioners Business Meeting. “We are responsible for doing everything we can to identify and control the spread of the disease in order to not overwhelm the health care system and ultimately to save lives. We need the help of the community to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

The county is in the process of training contact tracers to ensure over 98% of people who test positive for COVID-19 are contacted within 24 hours. Additionally, the increase in cases indicate we are still feeling the effects of Phase I reopening. 

Community members can help limit the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Appropriate physical distancing 
  • Washing hands 
  • Wearing face coverings when out in the public 
  • Staying home when you’re sick, even if you are only experiencing minor symptoms – or just aren’t sure. 
  • Cooperating with Public Health contact tracers’ interviews and recommendations if you do get COVID-19 or are a close contact to someone who does

“We know that many want to get back work, see loved ones and friends in-person and enjoy some of our favorite summertime activities,” said Nancy Bush, Clackamas County Disaster Management Director. “We appreciate everyone’s continued sacrifice and efforts to control the spread as we carefully consider the appropriate time to move into Phase II.”

The board will reconsider a Phase II reopening application when the Oregon Health Authority releases the COVID-19 Public Health Indicators by county next week.

At today’s meeting, the Board also extended its state of emergency declaration until July 31.  

Contact
Department Staff
Kimberly Dinwiddie
Public Information Officer
971-219-7271