SALEM, Ore. — After a drop in positive cases at the end of August and into September, the Oregon Health Authority reported a new record daily high for coronavirus cases on Friday — the latest in a surge of new cases this week.
OHA reported 457 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the state total to 32,314 since the start of the pandemic.
"We find ourselves at another crossroads," said OHA Director Patrick Allen. "After weeks of steady decline, COVID-19 cases have been rising. Today we are reporting 457 new cases – the single highest daily total since the onset of this pandemic."
Allen attributed many of those cases to several factors — gatherings over the Labor Day weekend, college students returning to campuses, and testing interruptions in areas impacted by fire, accompanied by more people seeking care for respiratory issues.
"For several weeks, we were successful in reducing COVID-19 cases. New cases reported weekly were in steady decline," Allen continued. "Oregon continues to have one of the lowest rates of infection in the nation. But this surge is an indication of how fragile our progress against the virus is."
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported Friday were in the following counties: Benton (11), Clackamas (33), Clatsop (73), Columbia (7), Coos (3), Deschutes (17), Jackson (14), Jefferson (4), Josephine (2), Klamath (1), Lake (3), Lane (50), Lincoln (2), Linn (12), Malheur (20), Marion (58), Morrow (4), Multnomah (62), Polk (8), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (9), Union (4), Wasco (3), Washington (51), and Yamhill (5).
OHA also reported three more fatalities, which included a Jackson County man disclosed by local health officials earlier in the week:
- Oregon’s 540th COVID-19 death is a 76-year-old man in Lane County who died on Sept. 1. The death certificate listed COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death. Place of death is being confirmed.
- Oregon’s 541st COVID-19 death is an 85-year-old man in Multnomah County who tested positive on Sept. 15 and died on Sept. 23 at Legacy Mt. Hood Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.
- Oregon’s 542nd COVID-19 death is a 76-year-old man in Jackson County who tested positive on Sept. 10 and died on Sept. 18 at Providence Medford Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.
OHA also addressed a major workplace outbreak of 79 cases at Pacific Seafood in Clatsop County. The investigation began on September 15, and initially came in below the threshold for public disclosure, the agency said. Those cases have surged in the days since.
"The case count includes all persons linked to the outbreak, which may include household members and other close contacts to an employee," OHA said.