COVID-19 has claimed another life in Grant County.

The Grant County Health Department reported Sunday that an 81-year-old woman with underlying conditions who resided in Grant County died at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend on March 19 after testing positive for COVID-19.

According to the health department, with 42 cases so far in March, the county is in the midst of community spread.

In a Friday email, Grant County Public Health Administrator Kimberly Lindsay said, if the county’s case counts continue to increase, the state will move Grant County into the “moderate” risk category.

According to the Oregon Health Authority’s web page, at-home social gathering restrictions would move from 10 to eight people in the moderate category.

Indoor dining would still be allowed. However, the state would mandate restaurants and bars close at 11 p.m. instead of midnight. Restaurants and bars would also go from a maximum of eight to six per table.

Lindsay said each county gets a “warning week.” She said the state typically publishes the “warning week” on Tuesdays.

“A warning period means that you should move up in the metrics, but you get a two week ‘stay of execution’ and we will stay in the low level,” she said.

She said the new metric level would go into effect on April 9.

If the numbers go below 30 new cases for a two-week period, the county would stay in the low category.

But, she said, if they go above 30, then the county would go to moderate.

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Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at steven@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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