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OHA director: COVID-19 is again on the march in Oregon

The Oregon Health Authority reports 418 new coronavirus cases today and warns of a grim future if trends continue.

Posted: Oct 16, 2020 6:10 PM
Updated: Oct 16, 2020 6:16 PM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority reported 418 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases and six additional deaths on Friday. With the announcement came a prediction for a concerning future if trends continue as they are now.

At the current rate of transmission, Oregon Health Authority officials project that new infections will increase “substantially” to 570 new reported cases a day and 40 hospitalizations. A second model presented by OHA's Dr. Dean Sidelinger suggests that with a 5-percent increase in transmission, that number of cases reported a day could jump to 740 and 48 hospitalizations.

"COVID-19 is again on the march in Oregon," OHA Director Patrick Allen said.

Case numbers have risen by 25 percent in the last six weeks, with last week's total number of cases set a new state record and deaths surpassed 600 in Oregon.

The main reason for the increase in case numbers is increased social gatherings where masks and social distancing are nonexistent. The changes people enacted in late July, leading to a drop in cases, were only short term. If Oregon is to bring case number counts down again and stay down, Oregonians need to stick with their changes.

"We need people to make a lasting change in their individual behavior," Allen said. "That lasting change is gonna need to be with us for months."

Officials are worried with the holiday season approaching, people will want to socialize more, especially with people they haven't seen since the start of the pandemic. Increased travel would almost certainly lead to more infections, according to OHA officials.

Earlier this week the Transportation Security Administration reported they screened nearly one million travelers, the most since mid-March. But traveling on a plane is actually the safest part of a trip.

A recent Department of Defense experiment, in conjunction with United Airlines, found when everyone is wearing a mask there is only a 0.003 percent chance of particles from one passenger to someone sitting next to them. Oregon health officials aren't worried so much about the journey, but what people do once they get to their destination.

"Air travel itself can be one of the safest parts of the journey," Dr. Sidelinger said. "But it's what happens at the end of the journey: who you're gathering with, the size of the crowd, the potential for spread in those settings that's more worrisome than the actual trip itself."

In addition, Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday that Lane County has been added to the County Watch List. Currently, there are five counties on the watch list - Benton, Clatsop, Lane, Malheur and Umatilla. A county is placed on the watch list when COVID-19 is spreading quickly.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 42436

Reported Deaths: 655
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9228160
Marion5858108
Washington579076
Umatilla335444
Clackamas313965
Lane239227
Malheur191738
Jackson16846
Deschutes113213
Yamhill99415
Linn81015
Polk65415
Jefferson6049
Morrow5456
Lincoln51713
Union4672
Benton4426
Klamath4113
Douglas3506
Wasco34715
Hood River2771
Josephine2673
Columbia2661
Coos2460
Clatsop2430
Baker1203
Crook1092
Tillamook700
Curry571
Wallowa442
Lake370
Harney230
Sherman190
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 910438

Reported Deaths: 17386
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3006147000
Riverside667321295
San Bernardino627741072
Orange587251447
San Diego54941870
Kern33881416
Fresno30858436
Sacramento25445484
Santa Clara24313388
Alameda23391461
San Joaquin21630489
Contra Costa18694242
Stanislaus17686397
Tulare17495286
Ventura14300164
Imperial12882336
San Francisco12152140
Monterey1139991
San Mateo11149159
Santa Barbara9814120
Merced9465155
Sonoma9402136
Kings824683
Solano738476
Marin7089128
Madera502074
Placer417857
San Luis Obispo414132
Yolo320759
Butte308752
Santa Cruz280225
Napa196215
Shasta188930
Sutter183712
San Benito144215
El Dorado13284
Yuba129310
Mendocino112921
Tehama8808
Lassen7661
Lake69515
Glenn6573
Nevada6168
Humboldt56710
Colusa5506
Calaveras34218
Amador33016
Tuolumne2714
Inyo22715
Siskiyou1930
Mono1802
Del Norte1781
Mariposa782
Plumas680
Modoc290
Trinity260
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
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