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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.

Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4810682

Reported Deaths: 70604
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147569426398
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3641044163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
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