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Oregon Passes 13,000 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 (4:26 p.m. PT) — The Oregon Health Authority announced Wednesday 282 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 diagnoses in the state, and four additional deaths due to the virus. With those cases and deaths, Oregon’s pandemic has now reached 13,081 positive cases and claimed the lives of 247 people.

The highest case numbers were concentrated in the state’s population center around Portland, where more than 130 new cases were identified: 59 cases in Multnomah, 50 in Washington and 24 in Clackamas counties.

Numbers also continue to surge in eastern Oregon, with 27 new known cases reported in Umatilla County and 15 cases in Malheur County.

Three of the four deaths were people in their 60s. All four had underlying health conditions, though as has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, OHA is not disclosing the specific health conditions underlying the deaths. 

As of Wednesday, 207 people are hospitalized with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state, including 30 who are on ventilators. Nearly 10% of known reported coronavirus cases thus far have led to hospitalizations.

Washington's unemployment rate fell to 9.8% in June

Washington's unemployment rate dropped nearly six percentage points to 9.8% in June — the largest month-to-month drop in 30 years — with the addition of 71,000 jobs, officials announced Wednesday.

The retail, leisure and hospitality and education and health services sectors saw the largest gains in new jobs last month, with 52,300 positions combined. But officials stressed there's still a long way to go to recover from the economic damage waged by the coronavirus shutdown. The state paid out unemployment benefits to more than 565,800 Washingtonians in June. 

Oregon's outdoor mask requirement, social gathering limits take effect

Oregon's beefed-up rules about wearing masks in public and tighter restrictions on indoor gatherings went into effect Wednesday.

Under new requirements announced by Gov. Kate Brown Monday, Oregonians must wear masks outdoors if they are unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others. Oregonians were already required to wear masks in indoor spaces open to the public, including stores, gyms and restaurants. The rules about masks do not apply to children 2 and under and are a recommendation and not a requirement for children age 3 through 12.

Also Wednesday, indoor social gatherings are limited to groups of 10 people or fewer. The rules on indoor gatherings do not apply to businesses or worship services. Failure to comply with the new regulations could net a person up to 30 days in jail and a $1,250 fine.

Washington at more than 40,000 cases

Health officials in Clark County, Washington, reported 25 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing the county’s total to 1,344. Public health officials have reported 33 deaths in the county in southwest Washington since the onset of the pandemic.

According to the latest available data, Washington has 42,304 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,404 known deaths. As of Sunday, coronavirus has led to the hospitalization of 4,788 people in Washington.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee warns that if case numbers don’t improve, he may have to start shutting down the economy again. Counties throughout the state will have to remain in their current phase of reopening until at least July 28.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

OPB Staff
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