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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.

Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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