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OHA Reports Nearly 180 New Known Coronavirus Cases

<p>There is currently no vaccine to prevent contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.</p>

There is currently no vaccine to prevent contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

UPDATE (12:18 p.m. PT) — More Oregonians have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past week than any week since the pandemic reached the state — 1,373 people in eight days ending Saturday, according to state health officials. In a single week, that’s about 20% of all confirmed and presumed coronavirus cases since the outbreak was detected in Oregon in February, in a surge that comes as the state eases its restrictions. 

About 2,500 of those people have recovered, and 189 have died, including one death Saturday.

The bulk of Saturday’s diagnoses were in the Portland metro area, with 34 new known cases in Multnomah County, 37 in Washington County and 19 in Clackamas County. There were also 23 in Lincoln County and 30 in Marion County.

Union County health officials reported two new cases, which now has 255 COVID-19 diagnoses. The bulk are from an outbreak linked with Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in Island City, just east of La Grande.

As of Friday, 154 people were hospitalized with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state, including 29 who are on ventilators. Coronavirus has led to the hospitalization of 946 people in Oregon over the course of the pandemic.

Multnomah County enters Phase 1

Multnomah County officially entered Phase 1 of Gov. Kate Brown’s reopening plan Friday. The county, the most populous in the state, was the last to do so. 

Restaurants in the county can serve meals on site until 10 p.m., with 6-feet of spacing between tables. Businesses, including hair salons and gyms, are allowed to operate as long as they follow distancing and sanitation guidelines. People in the county can also have gatherings of up to 25 people. 

Also starting Friday, Brown allowed Marion, Polk and Hood River counties to transition to Phase 2, which allows later restaurant hours and larger gatherings.

People in those transitioning counties, as well as Clackamas, Washington and Lincoln counties, will all be required to wear face coverings while in indoor public spaces starting Wednesday.

Oregon outlines mask rules

The Oregon Health Authority Friday unveiled face covering rules for the seven Oregon counties where people must wear masks in indoor public spaces starting Wednesday. The rules cover Clackamas, Hood River, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk and Washington counties. 

In those counties, grocery stores, retailers, gyms and salons must require customers and employees to wear face coverings, with some exemptions. 

For example, face coverings are not required in restaurants or other eateries while customers eat or drink. They are also not required during “strenuous physical exercise, singing or playing an instrument” if at least 6 feet of physical distancing can be maintained. 

Masks are also not required for people with medical conditions that make it hard to breathe when wearing a face covering or children under 12 years old. 

The Oregon Health Authority said businesses should provide free disposable face coverings to customers who may not have one, though that's not mandatory. It also encourages businesses to post signs about face coverings in commonly spoken languages and to educate employees on how to safely work and communicate with people who cannot wear masks. 

Clark County at more than 680 confirmed cases

Health officials in Clark County announced Friday that 14 more residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

In total, 685 people have tested positive in Clark County, and 28 people have died.

The most recent available data from the Washington Department of Health show 27,192 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state and 1,245 known deaths.


Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

OPB Staff