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Live updates: Oregon considers travel restrictions as COVID-19 diagnoses climb

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Friday she’s discussing possible coronavirus-related travel restrictions, but she has not made any concrete decisions.

Brown said she’s been in touch with Dan Joyce, chair of Malheur County, which shares a border with Idaho, as well as Idaho Gov. Brad Little.

“My understanding is that the decisions about COVID-19 restrictions in Idaho are being left to county commissioners,” Brown said. “So I had a conversation earlier this week with Chair Joyce about him working collaboratively with his neighbors about appropriate restrictions in Malheur County and connection Idaho counties.”

Regarding restricting travel from other states to Oregon, Brown said “conversations are still ongoing.”

“I’m continuing to have conversations with health experts and my medical advisory panel to really analyze how travel is impacting transmission,” Brown said. “These are really complex issues that require a lot of conversation and that’s what we’re having right now.”

She continued: “I know that some states, particularly on the East Coast, have imposed mandatory quarantine when you arrive from hot spots or return home from hot spots. Those are certainly all under consideration, but I haven’t made a final decision at this point.”

Oregon passed 20,000 COVID-19 infections Thursday, and the number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus keeps growing. The Oregon Health Authority announced 423 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 diagnoses Friday and nine new deaths.

The bulk of the new cases were in the Willamette Valley region with 110 in Multnomah County, 53 in Washington County and 57 in Marion County. Additionally, Umatilla County reported 53 new cases.

Since the start of the pandemic, 20,636 people have tested positive for or are presumed to have the virus in Oregon, and 348 people are known to have died with it.

Clark County, Washington, has now had more than 2,000 COVID-19 diagnoses. The state announced 26 more positive test results on Friday and one new death. That brings total diagnoses to 2,018, and deaths to 42.

Statewide, 60,917 people in Washington have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and 1,653 have died, according to the latest data available from the state.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Meerah Powell, Courtney Sherwood