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Crook County among 16 counties with improved risk levels, starting Friday

(Update: Gov. Brown announces risk level improvements statewide

Move from 'Extreme' to 'High' allows limited indoor dining, other activities

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Crook County was approved Tuesday to move down from the Extreme Risk to High Risk category, allowing indoor dining and more businesses to reopen Friday in limited fashion, two weeks after the county had just one too many COVID-19 cases to qualify.

The new category level will be in place for the next 2-week cycle, having had 46 COVID-19 cases reported over the past 2-week period, 13 below the limit of 59 for mid-sized counties. In the previous period, Crook County had 60 cases, sparking frustration among businesses and elected leaders.

Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday afternoon that 16 counties improved in risk level, with 10 of those improving from Extreme Risk.

County risk levels under the state's public health framework aim to reduce transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19. The framework uses four different risk levels for counties based on COVID-19 spread—Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Lower Risk—and assigns health and safety measures for each level.

Effective Feb. 26 through March 11, there will be just five counties in the Extreme Risk level (including Jefferson County, 11 at High Risk (including Crook and Deschutes), 10 at Moderate Risk, and 10 at Lower Risk.

A complete list of counties and their associated risk levels is available here.

“For the second time in a row, we are seeing great progress in stopping the spread of COVID-19 across Oregon and saving lives," Brown said. "Oregonians continue to step up and make smart choices.

"While these county movements are welcome news, we must continue to take seriously health and safety measures, especially as more businesses reopen and we start to get out more. As we see infection rates going down and vaccinations ramping up, now is not the time to let down our guard. Continue to wear your masks, keep physical distance, and avoid indoor gatherings."

The Oregon Health Authority will examine and publish county data weekly. County risk levels will be reassigned every two weeks. The first week's data will provide a "warning week" to prepare counties for potential risk level changes. The next assignment of risk levels will be announced March 9 and take effect March 12. 

Updates to Warning Week data and county risk levels will be posted to

Crook County's change allows businesses to move to that next step of reopening.  The High-Risk Category guidance can be found on the OHA COVID-19 website at:

"What this means for some business, such as restaurants and bars, is that they will be able to open to indoor dining," the county said. "Although restrictions still apply around social distancing and capacity, many are excited to see this positive movement."

"Crook County is moving in the right direction, and the change in risk level for Crook County indicates that everyone has worked hard to protect themselves and others from exposure to COVID-19, and this has kept our case count lower than it has been for some time." 

The Crook County Health Department said it is actively administering the COVID vaccine to the community, using the approved list of groups that the governor’s office and Oregon Health Authority has released.   

As additional groups become eligible, the health department will continue to do public vaccination clinics at the Crook County Fairgrounds.  The clinic is by appointment only, and once your group becomes eligible, you will be able to schedule an appointment using an online scheduler. 

The Crook County Health Department is posting daily updates on the web site to indicate which group is currently eligible for vaccination and a potential timeline of when others can start scheduling.  Please visit the website regularly to get updates.  What’s available on the website?

                --Updates to eligible groups

                --Link to the online schedule and other vaccination sites around Central Oregon

                --Links to State, Local and Federal sites for more information about COVID-19

"The Crook County Health Department is receiving a very high number of calls, so if you can’t get through right away please be patient and someone will get to you as soon as possible," the department said.

For more information or general questions, the Crook County Health Department is here to refer you to the right place to get answers - Office:  541-447-5165.

Crook County / Government-politics / News / Top Stories

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  1. Coming on the heels of yesterdays attack on a Prineville Church- who just happened to mention that a few of it’s members were down with a virus- this is almost laughable ! More proof that Brown’s lock-down has been based purely on political hate for former President Trump. She has the nerve to fly the flag at half-mast… for what ??? Z21 no longer reports deaths “by” Covid- they are now said to be covid “related”… which means that they now agree with the CDC- that only 6% of all deaths associated with the China virus are solely from the virus itself- the rest are 94% due to “underlying conditions”… which means that only 30,000 Americans have died from the virus alone ! And of those- how many were victims of angry and deranged Governors placing China V infected seniors into nursing homes with healthy occupants ? Watching the media and their Demonrat counterparts try to walk this back is shockingly bad- this is a crime against humanity- these are the killing fields !

    1. FACT: We post the Oregon Health Authority’s daily news releases verbatim (with a few local additions) every day as we have since the start. I try very hard not to respond to trolls, but for the others who also wondered about the change, we did ask. The response, in total: “It was a few months back. There was no announcement. We just wanted to clarify any confusion in the wording.”
      That of course won’t satisfy the trolls. For the rest of you, hope that helps a bit.

      1. “FACT”- If I want to read the OHA Daily News Release “verbatim”- I can go to the site myself and don’t need help from anyone in your news room ! That’s not the point. And you can continue your childish name calling all you want. Your sly and sneaky attempts to change the vocabulary surrounding deaths “BY” or deaths “RELATED” to the China Virus have been a staggering failure- and you know it ! You all got caught manipulating the message in order to save face and protect Kalamity Kate from public humiliation… NEITHER of which is the job or responsibility of a news crew. Yer right- we’re not satisfied ! And if you had any sense of professional accountability- you’d admit to the charges and address the complaints… but I truly sense you won’t- which speaks volumes about the lack of morals and ethics that has engulfed the American media. You may fool some of the dummies some of the time- but the rest of us are on to you and your self-righteous and smug attitudes !

          1. “if you had any sense of professional accountability- you’d admit to the charges and address the complaints… but I truly sense you won’t- which speaks volumes about the lack of morals and ethics that has engulfed the American media.”… Ditto !

      2. Just wanted to add a little color to this conversation. While I do not believe that KTVZ or Barney for that matter changed the verbiage on the daily news releases, I think it is interesting to find that records indicate a change took place On January 20th of this year. Interesting coincidence.

        I think you will find most that do not believe all the information around the COVID “FACTS” have a legitimate reason to doubt what is being told to them. I might add this is for good reason, when information appears distorted, manipulated and flat out falsified surrounding this virus people start to wonder what the heck is going on and they start to question every little detail. I do not deny this virus exists, I just deny that the juice is worth the squeeze (Lockdowns etc.) at this point. Just my opinion, and many share it.

        The biggest question in my mind right now is what are all of these lockdowns doing to once considered strong immune systems? Are we now going to have to rely on the medical community for an immune system? I assure you that my immune system is weaker as a result of the lockdowns. Sometimes we humans have a hard time seeing the forest through the trees.

        1. Meanwhile, responsible adults continue to care about their friends/neighbors/businesses and wear masks, stay the distance, and wash their hands. Thank you everyone who cares, you are awesome.

          1. Are you implying that because someone does not agree with the mask policy that they do not follow it? Furthermore are you implying that they don’t care about anyone else? So rather than attack the individual based on your own beliefs, would it be more constructive to try and understand someone else’s beliefs? Perhaps true dialog can happen , rather than stirring up hate!

        1. You’re welcome. Thanks for the kind words. I won’t let the trolls get me down. Yes, occasionally I have to be human and correct the trolls’ mistruths and twisted “facts.” But it’s so obvious, I realize they are clear on their face.

  2. Prineville, don’t get too comfortable, you know that “Flush Her Down Kate Brown” still has the power to screw us and shutdown small business in the name of “protection against the virus”! Do Not Trust Her to keep us open!! I am praying people wash their damn hands, and for the love of God, wear a mask that actually works!!! Only together can we keep our community out of her death grip!! Team Work you’all-we can do this!!!

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