‘Rising COVID cases across Oregon significant concern’


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Eighteen counties in Oregon accounted for another 191 confirmed/presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, with the tri-county area accounting for 111 of those.

There were 44 cases in Multnomah, 42 in Washington and 25 in Clackamas counties, the Oregon Health Authority said. These 3 counties are the region Gov. Kate Brown connected when she OK’d Multnomah County to enter Phase 1 last Friday.

Umatilla County reported 19 cases, likely part of an outbreak of 37 COVID-19 cases at Lamb Weston. Union County, which had a giant spike a week ago, reported another 19 cases.

The other counties with confirmed/presumptive cases in this report are Coos, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Klamath, Lane, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Polk, Tillamook and Wasco.

The overall total of cases in Oregon stands at 7274. No new deaths were reported, leaving the total at 192.

‘Significant concern’

As cases continue to rise in Oregon and dozens of other states, some officials in other states, such as the governor of Texas, are considering rolling back places that have reopened.

Charles Boyle, the Deputy Communications Director for Gov. Kate Brown, told KOIN 6 News the rising number of cases across Oregon is a significant concern.

“Oregon businesses will only be able to stay open if individual Oregonians take health and safety precautions like wearing a mask or face covering. From the beginning, Governor Brown has been clear: reopening comes with risks, including the risk that we will see an increase in COVID-19 cases,” Boyle said.

Multnomah County health officials expected the number of cases to go up as things reopen. Bu they said the biggest reason for the uptick right now is because people are starting to get together in small groups and expand their social circles.


MultCo officials blame recent uptick on social interactions

People are less likely to be as careful around close friends and family as we are when we go to the grocery store.

“I think people may be lulled into feeling more at ease, understandably around people they know well,” Dr. Jennifer Vines told KOIN 6 News. “But that’s really where the face coverings, good hand hygiene, limiting the number of contacts, especially for our frail elderly, is going to be really important.”

Full statement from Charles Boyle,
Deputy Communications Director for Gov. Kate Brown:

The rising number of cases across Oregon is a significant concern. Both rural and urban communities have seen significant spread of COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. Oregon businesses will only be able to stay open if individual Oregonians take health and safety precautions like wearing a mask or face covering.

From the beginning, Governor Brown has been clear: reopening comes with risks, including the risk that we will see an increase in COVID-19 cases. The Oregon Health Authority closely monitors and analyzes each county’s metrics holistically to review the total picture of COVID-19 spread in a county, and works with local public health officials to ensure that any increase in cases is staying within the available hospital capacity and health resources for that county. OHA evaluates what measures are in place in a county or region––number of contact tracers, available personal protective equipment for health care workers, testing capability, and isolation capacity––that a county has available to address or mitigate an increase in cases. Our approach will not be to immediately close a county that shows a growth in cases after reopening––instead OHA will take a more targeted approach to stop, watch, and redirect resources to address outbreaks.

All Oregonians need to take reopening incredibly seriously and help to prevent additional infections by wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, washing hands, and staying home when sick. We are all in this together, and reopening will only be successful if we all work together to do our part, which will help frontline health care workers and contact tracers as they work to test, trace, isolate and treat new cases of COVID-19.



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