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Live updates: As diagnoses climb, who’s in charge of enforcing COVID-19 restrictions?

The Oregon Health Authority reported 412 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, and one new death.

A large share of new diagnoses were in the Portland metro area, with 79 in Multnomah County, 56 in Washington County and 38 in Clackamas County. Marion County reported 75 new cases, and Umatilla County had 36.

A 71-year-old Jefferson County man with underlying medical conditions was the most recent death. He was diagnosed Aug. 6 and died Saturday at St. Charles Bend Medical Center.

Since the start of the pandemic, 23,018 people in Oregon have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 386 deaths have been linked to the virus.

On Friday, state officials reported an outbreak of 22 cases of COVID-19 at Columbia Basin Onion in Umatilla County. That case count includes all people linked to the outbreak, such as employees, their household members or other close contacts. An outbreak investigation began Aug. 1, the Oregon Health Authority said, but the initial case count at the time was below the threshold for public disclosure.

Another 38 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and one person – a man in his 70s with undetermined underlying conditions – has died, officials in Clark County, Washington, said Friday. The county public health agency said 2,219 Clark County residents have tested positive and 43 people have died since the start of the pandemic.

Statewide, Washington has confirmed 66,139 COVID-19 cases and 1,755 deaths, according to the latest available data.

Earlier this month, popular evangelical songwriter Sean Feucht gave a free outdoor concern in downtown Portland. It was the kind of event primed to make a public health expert shudder: hundreds of people, many likely from out of town, swaying and singing together, few covering their faces. A video montage he produced from his stay shows a handful of attendees later receiving baptisms in the Willamette River.

He had no permits for the event, which appeared to violate numerous requirements of Gov. Kate Brown’s COVID-19 emergency orders. And Feucht and his followers appeared to face no enforcement actions or pressure from public officials to maintain social distance, keep crowd size down, or cover their faces.

While the county looked to the city, which looked to the state, who looked back to the county, Feucht came and left unheeded and unfined.

In one study, Oregon researchers collected samples from a hospital’s ventilation system and found genetic material from the virus that causes the coronavirus. This seems to demonstrate that the virus might be transmissible through HVAC systems. But scientists did not assess if the genetic material was enough to cause infection, and there’s no other evidence documenting COVID-19 transmission through air conditioning units.

Still, experts say, there are risks posed by heat waves that send people to cooled indoor spaces.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting