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OHA urges smaller, masked gatherings amid upward trend in positive COVID-19 cases

The Oregon Health Authority wants private gatherings of fewer than ten people for at least the next three weeks.

Posted: Jul 10, 2020 4:39 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2020 5:33 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — On Friday the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued new recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19, citing "concerning" trends from recent models that show rapid spread of coronavirus throughout the state.

OHA says they’re seeing cases stem from family gatherings and social parties — graduation parties, birthdays, weddings, holiday gatherings, exercise classes, and fraternity or bachelor parties. Those sources have led officials this week to stress precautions in these private settings.

“We’re asking everyone in our state to voluntarily limit indoor social gatherings to fewer than 10 people for at least the next three weeks,” said Patrick Allen, the Director of OHA, in an early afternoon press conference.

The agency has also asked that people observe social distancing and wear face coverings, even in private gatherings. For more vulnerable people, groups are asked to find alternative ways for them to participate.

"While it is difficult not to celebrate these events as we have in the past, COVID-19 is spreading in our communities and people must think hard about altering daily routines that may put people at risk," the agency said.


RELATED: Oregon marks new record single-day increase in COVID-19 cases; reports 6 deaths


“As of several weeks ago, we knew that if transmissions did not begin to reduce, we’d have rapidly increasing infection numbers, moving towards exponential growth. Today’s model shows that we have reached a point where even if we saw a 10 percent reduction in transmission from the current rates, we would continue to see increases in case numbers,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the State Health Officer and Epidemiologist.

Recent models have utilized three different scenarios — stable transmission rates over the next 30 days, a 10 percent reduction in rates, or a 10 percent increase. In any of those scenarios, OHA said, Oregonians must do more to flatten the curve.

"The bottom line is that the disease is spreading more rapidly than expected and that since reopening, Oregonians have not consistently modeled the behavior needed to contain the spread of COVID-19," the agency said.

OHA says it's checking hospital capacities and trends every day; and if trends continue to worsen, Oregon could be in a dangerous position.


RELATED: Alongside increased COVID-19 testing, Oregon sees rising positivity rate


“If nothing changes, we’d have 49 hospitalizations a day; which would quickly fill hospitals across Oregon,” said Sidelinger.

Testing has increased within the state, OHA said, but states like Florida, Arizona, and Texas are in need of more test kits due to recent outbreaks — and more cases on the national level could impact Oregon’s supply.

“This is potentially a huge challenge for us,” said Allen.

"While it is difficult not to celebrate these events as we have in the past, COVID-19 is spreading in our communities and people must think hard about altering daily routines that may put people at risk," the agency said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 391099

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60298839
Washington41981395
Marion39886506
Clackamas32773378
Lane30113355
Jackson24880360
Deschutes23557185
Umatilla15126180
Linn14637179
Douglas13375291
Josephine10148244
Yamhill9762143
Klamath9053146
Polk8212100
Benton609738
Malheur592487
Coos5664106
Columbia430455
Jefferson420266
Lincoln362152
Union338755
Crook334056
Wasco316146
Clatsop261835
Baker219833
Tillamook216645
Hood River213737
Morrow197525
Curry191939
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105416
Wallowa75713
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5083462

Reported Deaths: 74473
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152713227166
San Diego4069274335
Riverside3876785358
San Bernardino3745435962
Orange3343985725
Sacramento1683542443
Kern1576621804
Fresno1567952254
Santa Clara1520891925
Alameda1251761504
San Joaquin1075591834
Ventura1040031190
Contra Costa1037721046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare860871096
San Francisco56909669
San Mateo56320629
Monterey52488626
Solano47671357
Santa Barbara47293549
Merced45053667
Sonoma43168412
Placer42141470
Imperial38477773
Kings35206363
San Luis Obispo31476359
Madera26194311
Shasta26081451
Butte25455314
Santa Cruz22248224
Yolo21558257
Marin18465249
El Dorado18301166
Sutter14571186
Napa13420104
Yuba1076089
Tehama10275130
Humboldt10158119
Nevada10019105
Mendocino857197
Lassen796756
San Benito781578
Tuolumne773090
Lake7043110
Amador577366
Siskiyou474755
Glenn457436
Calaveras441588
Del Norte375542
Colusa325220
Inyo256646
Plumas19367
Mono18784
Mariposa160018
Trinity99717
Modoc7655
Unassigned3220
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
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