Oregon Nearing 10,000 Confirmed Cases

Jul 4, 2020
Originally published on July 5, 2020 9:26 am

UPDATE (12:12 p.m. PT) — The Oregon Health Authority Saturday reported 303 new confirmed and presumptive coronavirus diagnoses, bringing the state to 9,930 known cases.

Many of Saturday’s new cases are in the Portland metro area, with 58 cases in Multnomah County, 46 cases in Washington County and 26 in Clackamas County. There are also 49 new known cases in Umatilla County.

The health agency reported four new deaths bringing the state’s total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 213.

The new deaths are described as:

A 93-year-old man in Umatilla County who tested positive June 27 and died July 1 in his residence. He had underlying medical conditions. 

A 74-year-old man in Umatilla County who tested positive on June 21 and died June 26 at Good Shepherd Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions. 

A 94-year-old woman in Clackamas County who tested positive on June 16 and died June 29 in her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.

An 86-year-old woman in Lincoln County who tested positive June 29. Her date and place of death and underlying medical conditions are being confirmed.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown identified eight counties where COVID-19 is spreading the fastest and have the highest rates of “sporadic transmission” that don’t have a clear epidemiological link to other outbreaks. Those counties  will be placed on a “watch list” and include: Jefferson, Lake, Lincoln, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union and Wasco counties.

Health officials will closely monitor those counties and prioritize resources to suppress the virus in those hotspot communities.

As of Friday, 173 people are hospitalized with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state, including 25 who are on ventilators. The coronavirus has led to the hospitalization of 1,069 people statewide over the course of the pandemic.

Clark County Public Health is investigating a COVID-19 outbreak at a Vancouver food establishment.

Health officials warn that people who visited Orchards Tap Bar and Grill between June 19-25 may be at risk of getting sick.

Public health has linked 18 cases so far, which includes four employees and 14 customers to the restaurant.

People who visited the restaurant and bar between June 19-25 should contact their health care provider and request testing for COVID 19, public health officials warn. Those individuals should also quarantine at home for 14 days from their last date of exposure at the facility.

Health officials in Clark County, Washington, reported 18 new coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the county’s total to 901. 

Public health officials did not report any additional deaths, with the county’s total holding at 29.

Clark County’s application to move into Phase 3 of Washington’s reopening process is on pause. Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday that there would be a two week pause in response to an increase in cases. The county will remain in Phase 2.

The Washington Department of Health reported 34,151 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state and 1,342 known deaths. As of Thursday the coronavirus has led to the hospitalization of 4,442 people in Washington.

OSHA and OLCC ramping up enforcement this weekend

Brown also announced that the Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission staff will be increasing enforcement of pandemic-related safety measures this weekend.

Staff will be inspecting restaurants, bars and other businesses statewide this weekend to ensure they are complying with mask rules, social distancing requirements, alcohol laws and OLCC rules.

If businesses refuse to comply, OSHA and OLCC staff can issue citations, fines, and red warning notices.

Those notices apply to businesses that appear to be in willful violation of the Governor’s executive orders or who refuse to take corrective measures. Those businesses will be closed until the hazardous condition is remedied, and the governor’s office warns that violating a red warning notice will result in severe penalties.

OHA changes tracking of active cases

The Oregon Health Authority said it is now using a “60-day-rule” to assess whether coronavirus patients have recovered. 

Now, “any confirmed or presumptive case who is alive 60 days after the earliest of their onset of symptoms or collection of their first positive test will be considered recovered,” Jonathan Modie with the Oregon Health Authority told OPB.

The agency is using this new strategy to shift resources, Modie said. 

“Our epidemiologists are using the time that had been spent on assessing recovery to perform case investigations and contact tracing,” he said.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.