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Live updates: Oregon reports three deaths as spread of COVID-19 slows

The Oregon Health Authority reported three new COVID-19 deaths Thursday, raising the pandemic’s death toll in the state to 470. Officials also reported 274 new diagnoses. Since the coronavirus was first detected in Oregon, 27,336 people have been diagnosed, and 5,174 people have been declared recovered.

The people whose deaths were announced Thursday all had underlying medical conditions. They were:

Though new diagnoses ticked up some Thursday, the spread of coronavirus seems to be slowing statewide. The Oregon Health Authority reported 140 COVID-19 diagnoses Wednesday, the fewest new cases the state had seen any day since late June and part of a weeks-long decline.

New infections fell 8.6% last week from the week before, according to state health officials, and appear to be falling even more this week. Of all people tested for the coronavirus, 4.4% tested positive last week, the lowest in two months, the state said Wednesday.

The number of Oregonians who died of COVID-19 last week climbed, however: the state reported 39 deaths from Aug. 24-30, up from 32 deaths the week prior.

Another 39 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Clark County, Washington, the local public health department reported Thursday. To date, 2,688 Clark County residents have tested positive for the virus, and 51 have died.

Since the start of the pandemic, 75,856 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Washington, and 1,945 have died, according to the latest counts available from the state.

Last week, the Oregon Health Authority reported two COVID-19 deaths of people under 40 in two days, in what appeared to be an alarming, though short, streak for a virus that has disproportionately been fatal for older people. On Thursday, the state agency said that one of those deaths was accidentally reported twice.

The 37-year-old Washington County woman whose death was reported on Aug. 29 was also counted in the state’s Aug. 22 coronavirus tally.

The Oregon Health Authority said a data compilation error was to blame. It has since updated its coronavirus statistics. “OHA regrets the error,” the agency said in a press release.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Courtney Sherwood