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Live updates: Oregon reports death of 29-year-old to COVID-19

A 29-year-old man with no underlying medical conditions died of COVID-19 at OHSU Hospital last week, the Oregon Health Authority reported Friday.

In keeping with a policy of protecting private health information, the state provided few details on his death, other than to say he tested positive on Aug. 22 and died the same day. His was one of nine coronavirus deaths announced Friday, bringing the pandemic’s death toll in the state to 447.

The other deaths were:

Multnomah County health officials also declined to offer further details on the 29-year-old man’s death Friday, but mentioned another recent younger-than-typical COVID-19 death, of a 37-year-old woman who died earlier this month.

State health officials also reported 301 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 diagnoses Friday, bringing the total confirmed cases in Oregon to 26,054.

At a press briefing Thursday, officials with the Oregon Health Authority said coronavirus diagnoses, hospitalizations and deaths have gradually declined over the past three weeks, although not at the pace necessary to reopen schools in most of the state.

Oregon’s most populous county was removed from the state’s COVID-19 watch list Friday, and local leaders in Multnomah County reacted to the news by turning their attention to the steps necessary for them to reopen schools. Hood River County was also removed from the watch list, which documents the counties with the broadest spread of the coronavirus and acts as a guide to state resources and monitoring.

“I want to applaud county officials and community members in Hood River and Multnomah Counties for their efforts in curbing community spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Kate Brown said in a written statement announcing the move.

Officials in Multnomah County said they are now focused on reducing the overall case count to fewer than 30 cases per 100,000 residents, which would allow local schools to resume classes for students in kindergarten through third grade. As of the last tally, Multnomah County had 41 cases per 100,000.

Another 32 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Clark County, Washington, the local public health department reported Friday. To date, 2,534 residents of Clark County have tested positive for the virus and 49 have died.

Since the start of the pandemic, 73,301 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Washington, and 1,905 have died, according to the latest count available from the state.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Courtney Sherwood