OR Governor Kate Brown issued this statement late Thursday as part of her announcement that Umatilla County will be thrust back to a stay at home status, ahd Morrow County will drop from Phase 2 to Phase 1 effective Friday 7-31. Her statement read in part:

“My heart goes out to the families in Morrow County, Umatilla County and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation who have been impacted by this disease."

That will be of little consolation to especially Umatilla County, where hundreds of businesses which were just starting to regain their footing will again have to endure a multi-week closing.

Some reports, including one by OregonLive.com, questioned why Brown waited til late Thursday to make this move, especially after the full previous week saw a decline in ac tive cases in both areas and especially across the state.

Under Morrow County's drop, facilities such as movie theaters and bowling alleys will have to close. Umatilla County will be similar to B-F Counties during our stay at home--only banks, grocery stores, gas stations and a handful of other businesses will be open for the next 3 weeks.

Newstalk870 has learned the active case counts for Umatilla County for last Friday through Thursday were as follows:

    Last Friday, the 24th, there were 223 active cases, Monday the 27th was 215, Tuesday the 28th 206, Wednesday the 29th 194, and then Thursday July 30th there was a bump to 229 active cases.

According to multiple sources, at least in Umatilla County, OHA (Oregon Health Association) officials include presumptive or presumed cases as part of their totals. A presumed case is someone who has a few or many symptoms, and can be confirmed they were near someone who officially has COVID.   According to OHA data, a presumed person is someone who does not have a positive PCR test -- a Polymerase Chain Reaction, which would confirm they have the virus.

Brown claims Umatilla has five or six times the infection rate of the rest of the state. Umatilla had been in Phase 2 since coming out of lockdown May 15th.

This setback is one of the largest drop downs of any county in the nation.