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Transmission Via Travel, Small Gatherings, and Household Contact On Rise In Lane County


Lane County Public Health announced 18 new positive COVID-19 cases Thursday. There has been a total of 271 positive cases in the county with 79 currently considered infectious. Jason Davis with Public Health said now 20% of cases in the county are travel-related.

“We’re seeing cases come from Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, some of those sort of hot states right now where there are really a lot of cases.” Davis said.  “And we’re seeing people travel there to those areas and then also individuals having relatives and other guests come from those states as well and they are resulting in cases here.”

Davis said besides travel, they’ve seen an increase of transmission from small group gatherings. And in households, there's a one-to-one transmission rate. He urges the public to wear masks even in small groups. He says 45% of new cases are among people under the age of 30.

Next week, Lane County Public Health plans to hold one of two community testing days in Eugene. The agency has will have up to 500 tests available. Davis said they will prioritize those who’ve been working throughout the outbreak.

“We call them front line workers. But really what that means is an individual who has been public facing throughout the outbreak.” Davis said.  “So our baristas, our grocery store workers, anybody that’s had to work through that outbreak are at heightened risk and we want to get a sense of how COVID is moving through those communities.”

Davis said the testing dates will be announced next week. He said a workplace cluster at El Torito grocery in Eugene has been epidemiologically traced to Marion County. He said the market is not considered a community transmission site. 

More than 30% of the positive cases of COVID-19 in Lane County are in the LatinX community according to Public Health.

Copyright 2020 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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