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Live updates: Oregon reports 342 new COVID-19 diagnoses, 14 deaths

UPDATE (7:05 a.m. PT) — The Oregon Health Authority reported 342 new COVID-19 diagnoses and 14 deaths Tuesday, just a day after it reported zero fatalities. That sends the state death toll over 300.

“As we surpass 300 deaths related to COVID-19, including the 14 deaths reported today, I wish to extend sincere condolences on behalf of everyone at OHA to the families who have lost a loved one to this disease,” OHA director Patrick Allen said in a press release. “It is a stark reminder of the work all Oregonians need to do to bring this pandemic under control. Together we can slow this disease and prevent this terrible loss of life.”

Among the deceased was a 26-year-old in Yamhill County. COVID-19 was “a significant condition that contributed to his death.”

The largest numbers of new cases came from Umatilla (75) and Multnomah (74) counties.

Health officials in Clark County, Washington, on Monday reported 37 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, 1,680 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in the county, and 37 have died.

The latest available data from the Washington Department of Health shows 53,321 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the state and 1,717 are known to have died of it. As of Monday, COVID-19 has led to the hospitalization of 5,397 people in Washington.

The University of Oregon began trials on a new COVID-19 test that uses saliva spit into a tube. If it works and gets approved, the university hopes it can raise the testing capacity in Lane County and neighboring communities.

Most COVID-19 tests currently rely on what’s called a nasopharyngeal swab. It’s long enough to be stuck far up a patient’s nose. But these swabs have been in short supply and have proven difficult for hospitals to get.

With a saliva test, participants can collect the sample on their own. That means less medical staff are required and helps preserve the protective equipment they need to wear, like face masks and shields, while collecting nasal samples.

Read more: Experimental COVID-19 test at UO replaces nasal swab with a saliva sample

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting