EDITORIAL: Vaccines offer hope, but vigilance remains key to keeping Covid at bay

The people of Malheur County in the past month made good progress on driving down the spread of Covid. But surges recently threaten to keep us all in the “extreme risk” category that continues to limit normal life.

Through January, the county posted some improving numbers. These figures indicate how fast the coronavirus is spreading – and whether that rate is slowing down. Consider the key three measures used by state and county officials to gauge the relative health of Malheur County:

• New reported infections over two weeks. At the start of the month, we stood at 209. A week ago, that was down to 161. But there is work to be done. The number has to get below 60 to loosen up limits.

• Rate of infections, measured by a common formula. At the start of the month, the rate was 652 . . .