Update: Vaccinations available as Linn County returns to ‘High’ risk after case reports increase

Update: Linn County Public Health has 800 openings for first-dose Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 15, at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center, 3700 Knox Butte Road.

To book an appointment, visit https://www.linncountyhealth.org/ph/page/covid-19-vaccines-information.

As of Sunday, April 11, Linn County had 4,008 reported COVID cases and 61 deaths.

That was an increase of 118 from the previous week (3,890 cases/60 deaths). The most recent fatality reported was a 73-year-old man who tested positive on Feb. 22 and died on March 21 at his residence in the county. He had underlying conditions. His death was reported eported April 7.

Linn County moved back into the “High” risk category on Friday, April 9, after the county’s numbers of new reported COVID cases exceeded 100 per 100,000 population over the two-week period that ended Sunday, April 4.

“Extreme” Risk begins when the number of new reported COVID cases exceeds 200 per 100,000. “Moderate” Risk is a case rate of 50 to 100 per 100,000 and “Lower” Risk is below 50 cases per 100,000 population. County risk categories are adjusted every two weeks.

Linn County Board Chairman Roger Nyquist said the number of positive COVID-19 cases has increased due to people traveling outside of the immediate area and increased social gatherings.

“We have not found increased cases linked to Linn County businesses or the resumption of in-person classes in area schools,” he said. “The number of positive cases as a percentage of total number of people tested remains below 5%, which is a good sign.”

Nyquist added that hospitalizations in the region remain low and the number of vaccinations per week continue to increase.

“We encourage people to wear masks in accordance with state guidelines,” Nyquist said. “We also ask them to consider their group activities and interactions in general, per Centers for Disease Control guidelines.”

Nyquist said the uptick in positive cases is concerning, but county officials are also optimistic that in coming weeks, as more and more Linn County residents are vaccinated, the number of positive cases will drop.

Linn County joined Benton County, as well as Clackamas, Coos, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah and Tillamook in the “High” risk category.

No counties are in the “Extreme” risk category; 16 are in the “Lower” risk category, which Linn County has not yet reached, and six are in the “Moderate” category.

“Linn County Public Health will hold COVID-19 vaccination clinics from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center, 3700 Knox Butte Road, Albany.

Wednesday’s clinic will include 570 first doses and 2,630 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine for a total of 3,200 doses.

Thursday, there will be 2,600 first doses of the Moderna vaccine and 100 second doses for 2,700 total doses.

Linn County Public Health and its volunteers have provided more than 35,000 vaccinations.

As of Friday, 2.16 million Oregonians have received vaccinations, and of those 845,000 are fully vaccinated.

Statewide, there have been 168,795 COVID-19 cases and 2,450 deaths. Linn County has had 3,965 cases and 61 deaths and Benton County has had 2,632 cases and 18 deaths.

For more information and to register for a vaccination, visit the Linn County Public Health Department website at https://www.linncountyhealth.org/.

To get a vaccination through Samaritan Health, visit

http://www.samhealth.org/getthevaccine#anchor-7FE7AC2F-46A7-4EEB-8C5F-5FA128388824-a6d1b5c9-234b-4594-a04a-6e663644545f .

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