For five weeks now, COVID-19 cases in Oregon have been surging. Friday, fifteen counties will fall under new social-distancing restrictions to curb the virus’ spread.

Here’s everything you need to know about the coronavirus variants currently driving infection, new restrictions, updated guidelines for the vaccinated and unvaccinated, and the science underlying them.

Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs / Oregon National Guard from Salem, Oregon, United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Governor Kate Brown held a press availability April 30 to discuss Oregon's ongoing response to COVID-19. She was joined by representatives from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Health & Science University.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Lane County Public Health officials say they are seeing a significant number of “no-shows” for their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. They believe this may be due to fear of side effects. 



Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has extended the state’s COVID-19 emergency order for 60 days. The governor’s order comes amid a surge of new cases and hospitalizations in Oregon.

The declaration provides flexibility for the state and private parties in responding to challenges of the pandemic. It also helps ensure that Oregon is able to utilize available federal COVID-19-related relief and assistance.

The state of emergency will last until June 28 unless it is rescinded or further extended.


More than 75 Oregon county commissioners-- along with business advocates-- have penned a letter to Governor Kate Brown. They’re requesting reconsideration of the state’s approach to COVID-19 mitigation measures and restrictions.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

The COVID-19 pandemic shuttered many regular gaming venues over the past year.  Now recent re-openings of bars and taverns across Oregon have generated significant spikes in video lottery sales. 

David Vilches, Unsplash

An increase in COVID-19 cases among school-age children (5-17 yrs.) has prompted Lane County Public Health to come up with a new way to report them. 

Brian Bull / KLCC

Worker advocates held a memorial Wednesday to honor people who lost their lives while on the job in Oregon last year. The names of 53 people were read aloud during the ceremony.


Andika Murandi / OAC website/ (

A week and a half before it was to start, organizers say the Oregon Asian Celebration has been postponed due to Lane County’s elevated risk levels for COVID-19.

State of Oregon

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced Tuesday, 15 counties, including Lane, Deschutes and Linn, will move to Extreme Risk for COVID-19 restrictions.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday that she is designating 15 counties as “extreme risk” for COVID-19 spread, and imposing strict limits on restaurants, businesses, places of worship, and social gatherings. The restrictions are an attempt to curb a steep rise in cases and preserve hospital capacity statewide.

The new risk level designations will take effect Friday and last through at least May 6.

Most large cities in the state — Portland, Gresham, Eugene, Salem, Bend and Medford — are in extreme risk counties and will face the new restrictions.

Over the weekend, the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Oregon crept up closer to a 300-person-threshold Gov. Kate Brown has set as a key measure of strain on the state’s hospital system.

If hospitalizations reach that threshold, it could trigger an indoor dining ban and other restrictions on businesses, entertainment venues, and places of worship in counties that meet the state’s criteria for “extreme risk” of COVID-19 spread.

The number of people hospitalized rose to 295 on Saturday before falling to 291 Sunday, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Mary Harrsch /

An annual festival highlighting Asian culture has reinvented itself given the COVID-19 pandemic.  But organizers of the 36th annual Oregon Asian Celebration say it’ll still be an incredible experience.

On April 23, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown gave an address with some cautionary words for Oregonians, noting that cases exceeded 1,000 for the day, and that Oregon hospitals are on pace to surpass 300 patients with COVID-19.

Tiffany Eckert

County risk levels go into effect across Oregon on Friday. That means new COVID-19 restrictions for some businesses. Here’s what can happen if a workplace refuses to comply.

Oregon Health Authority

Lane County Public Health reports having a “slow down” with scheduling for the COVID-19 vax clinic at Lane Community College this weekend. The clinic will administer Pfizer doses and is directed toward 16 and 17 year olds who just became eligible for the shot.

University of Oregon

On Thursday, the University of Oregon hosted its second of four planned COVID-19 vax clinics at Autzen Stadium—conducted especially for college students and staff.

Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs / Oregon National Guard from Salem, Oregon, United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Oregon Governor Kate Brown held a press availability April 23 to discuss Oregon's ongoing response to COVID-19. She was joined by representatives from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Latino Health Coalition.


Lewis & Clark College announced Wednesday that it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all students this fall. According to a database maintained by the Chronicle of Higher Education, it’s the first institution in Oregon to set that requirement.

Justin Hartley

Effective this Friday, 23 Oregon counties will move or remain in the High Risk level for COVID-19 restrictions. Some of them qualify for Extreme risk but weren’t moved there.

Eugene Emeralds

The Eugene Emeralds are gearing up for a new baseball season and fans can expect changes when going to PK Park.




The University of Oregon sent an email to graduating students Tuesday announcing the addition of two in-person events to this spring’s commencement ceremonies.

Scientists and public health experts agree that masks are effective at lowering the spread of the coronavirus indoors, where the vast majority of transmission is likely to occur.

But what about outside?

About two dozen states have statewide mask mandates that generally require people to wear masks outside when they're not able to stay at least 6 feet apart. Many cities have their own rules.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

All Oregonians 16 and older are now eligible to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine. Lane County Public Health is geared up to reach the late teen population with mass vax clinics this weekend. School districts are also scheduling to vaccinate students. 

John Stapleton IV

Due to a steady increase of new COVID-19 cases, Lane County is moving back up to the High risk category for coronavirus restrictions. The governor’s office announced the change will go into effect this Friday.

Brian Bull / KLCC

A historical theater in Coos Bay with distinctive Egyptian motifs is riding out the pandemic as best it can. 

So you got the COVID-19 shot. What now?

Apr 19, 2021

Oregon’s COVID-19 vaccination rates are expected to shoot up with everybody in the state 16 and over becoming eligible starting today.

Bermix_Studio /

The Portland FBI Division is warning Oregonians against buying and using fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. 

Oregon health officials reported 888 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the highest number in months as the virus continues its resurgence in the state.

The state also reported three deaths attributed to the virus, raising the overall death toll to 2,460.

Covid-19 case counts are climbing statewide even as vaccination eligibility opens up to all Oregonians 16 and older on Monday, April 19. We discuss the latest numbers and delve into your questions about vaccines, COVID-19, variants and more.