CORVALLIS, Ore. – Recently released data from the Oregon Health Authority could land Benton County on Gov. Kate Brown's watch list, officials said.
The county is not meeting all of the public health indicators set by the state for phased reopening. However, county leaders say they are not anticipating losing their Phase II status.
If it is placed on the watch list, this would mean monitoring from the OHA and pubic health officials as well as possible business closures and additional requirements.
Currently, Benton County is meeting the indicator for emergency department visitors but is falling short in other categories:
- No increase in tests that are positive in the last 7 days: Benton County has an uptrend of 3.5 percent.
- Less than 5 percent of new cases in the last 7 days: Benton County has an increase of 29 percent.
- Contact trace 95 percent of all new cases within 24 hours: Benton County has contact traced 94% of new cases within 24 hours.
- At least 70 percent of new COVID-19 cases are traced to an existing case: Benton County has traced 17 percent of new cases to an existing case.
Contact tracers have been having trouble reaching people with positive tests, officials said.
“Our ability to successfully contact trace relies on community members answering the call and their willingness to work with contact tracers to identify those that they have been in close contact with,” says Bryan Lee, emergency manager. “We continue to recruit and train contact tracers among County staff to build capacity for surges as well as a second wave in the fall.”
Officials said half of the positive cases in the past three weeks have involved individuals between 20 and 30 years of age, but the trend could change.