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Tap That Growlers on Adams Avenue in downtown La Grande stays busy the evening of Nov. 12, 2020, six days before Gov. Kate Brown’s mandates went into effect that would lead to prohibitions against in-person dining at restaurants and bars throughout most of Oregon. Union County is dropping into the moderate risk category effective Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, meaning restaurants and other establishments can allow in-person business with restrictions.

UNION COUNTY — Union County is dropping all the way to the moderate risk category for COVID-19.

Union County Emergency Services on Tuesday morning, Feb. 23, announced county commissioners successfully disputed a three-case discrepancy of COVID-19 the Oregon Health Authority incorrectly posted to Union County. The case dispute, according to the press release, will drop the county two levels, from the extreme risk category to the moderate risk category effective Friday, Feb. 26.

The movement is occurring due to the county’s COVID-19 case count, which was totaling 46 for the period of Feb. 7-20, but after the dispute, the total now stands at 43 for the two-week period. The extra three cases were for another county, according to the press release.

The change in state-mandated risk categories gives the green light to inside visitations at long-term care facilities. Restaurants and bars can return to indoor dining but with a reduction in total capacity. The change also will affect indoor recreation and fitness establishments, retail stores and faith institutions as the state is allowing increased capacity.

While the changes go into effect Friday, the press release stated, each business and facility will determine whether to decrease to the moderate risk level.

The State Sector Risk Level Guidance Chart from the Oregon Health Authority with all risk levels is available for viewing at sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le3461.pdf. Additional detailed state sector-specific guidance is at coronavirus.oregon.gov/Pages/guidance.aspx.

You can find information regarding COVID-19, including vaccinations, online at at the Oregon Health Authority at govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV and the Center for Human Development's Union County Public Health site at www.chdinc.org/covid19.

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