Updated May 16, 2022

Local case counts are rising in the metro area, and recently the CDC has shifted Multnomah County from the low to medium community level. Hospitalizations may rise but right now we don’t expect a large increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.  

We know it is confusing to have the COVID situation continue to change. These changes are hard for everyone, especially families, schools and businesses. We also know that COVID-19 may be with us for a long time. We will need to adapt our behavior as the situation changes. Thank you to everyone in the community who has been taking precautions and following public health recommendations. 

The move from low to medium COVID-19 community level indicates that the risk from COVID is increasing in our community. The COVID safety measures you have been taking still work to lower your own risk and increase protection for those who are more vulnerable.

To make things safer

Everyone should

  • Stay up to date on vaccinations.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow guidelines for isolation if you test positive. 

Add layers when risk increases

To lower your own risk and the risk to our communities, we suggest adding layers of protection. You might:

  • Wear a mask indoors or in crowds.
  • Delay visits with people who are at higher risk for severe disease, or add layers of protection such as masks and physical distance when you are around them.
  • Hold smaller, outdoor gatherings
  • Open windows and doors for improved ventilation when possible.

For those who are immunocompromised or at higher risk for severe disease

If you are at higher risk for severe COVID-19, contact your provider. Your provider may recommend that you mask or take other precautions. A provider can help you make a plan for treatment if you get sick.

Have a plan for rapid testing if needed. Many treatment options need to be started early. 

If you don’t have a provider, call 211 for help finding one. 

    Will there be new restrictions?

    We do not have plans for more mandates or closures right now. At the beginning of the pandemic we did not have as many options available to fight the disease. Now we have vaccines, testing and treatment and we can take the actions that we have seen help protect our communities. 

    Looking ahead

    We are still living with COVID-19 and we expect case counts will continue to go up and down. We might also see new versions of the virus that are different from what we’ve seen so far. When COVID is spreading through the community or the disease changes in a concerning way, we will suggest actions people can take to help keep our community safe. Being prepared to change our behavior can reduce our stress when the COVID-19 situation, or community level, changes. 

    Get ready for when cases rise:

    Carry a mask with you. You may be asked to wear it indoors, or you may want to wear it when you are in settings with people at higher risk for severe outcomes.

    How to know if the community level is changing 

    COVID-19 case rates have been gradually rising. At this point, COVID-19 hospitalizations have remained low. Case counts and hospitalization rates are two of the factors that public health agencies use to assess our community’s COVID-19 risk level. 

    You can check Multnomah County’s current COVID-19 community level on these websites: