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Oregon coronavirus test positivity rate spikes after brief slump

The latest coronavirus testing report from the Oregon Health Authority is bad news for schools that are looking to open with in-person classes.

Posted: Aug 3, 2020 4:31 PM
Updated: Aug 3, 2020 5:00 PM

SALEM, Ore. — The rate of positive coronavirus tests out of total tests performed in Oregon reached a high last week not seen since the very beginning of the pandemic, according to the latest testing report from the Oregon Health Authority.

The development is bad news for schools that are looking to reopen with in-person classes just a few weeks from now. One of the school metrics announced by Governor Kate Brown and OHA officials last week is a statewide test positivity rate of 5 percent or less for three weeks in a row before in-person classes will be allowed.

While Oregon's test positivity rate did dip below 5 percent during the week of July 19 through July 25, it shot up to 6.1 percent last week — the highest that Oregon's positivity rate has been since March, when testing was limited almost exclusively to a small number of people with obvious COVID-19 symptoms.

Test positivity rate, which uses the ratio of positive to negative results each week, serves as a more accurate representation of COVID-19's spread in the state than using the number of new positive cases alone, which has almost certainly risen in part due to expanded testing.

The state reported that 35,424 tests were processed last week, down from 38,179 the week before and 39,301 during the week of July 13. The most amount of tests processed occurred during the week beginning June 28, with 39,914.

According to OHA, the state maintains a "theoretical testing capacity" of roughly 48,000 tests, based on the availability of supplies, reagents, and staff. This does not include out-of-state commercial labs. Regardless, the agency has noted a "widespread" slowdown for testing at commercial labs, sometimes with turnaround times of up to two weeks, due to a nationwide surge in cases.

"The number of tests performed each week has generally been holding steady, but supply chain issues continue to restrict Oregon’s testing capacity," OHA noted in its weekly report. "Several major manufacturers have informed OHA that testing supply allocation to OSPHL and clinical labs in Oregon may be reduced over the coming weeks due to the recent spike in positive COVID-19 cases nationally and increased demand for testing."

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Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33291

Reported Deaths: 555
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7257140
Marion474395
Washington458160
Umatilla299841
Clackamas244862
Malheur164230
Lane126717
Jackson11715
Deschutes85912
Yamhill76914
Jefferson5458
Polk53515
Linn52513
Morrow5096
Lincoln48113
Union4462
Benton3226
Wasco2963
Klamath2902
Hood River2520
Douglas2394
Clatsop2180
Josephine2032
Columbia1821
Coos1580
Baker952
Crook631
Tillamook530
Lake330
Wallowa321
Curry310
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 815654

Reported Deaths: 15782
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2692846551
Riverside591731216
San Bernardino54849952
Orange535571249
San Diego46985781
Kern32019369
Fresno28517390
Sacramento22438412
Alameda21323408
Santa Clara21294318
San Joaquin20357447
Contra Costa16702206
Stanislaus16496359
Tulare16071263
Ventura12812150
Imperial11877317
San Francisco11238101
Monterey1000872
San Mateo9950150
Santa Barbara9133113
Merced8939143
Kings766180
Sonoma7412122
Marin6727118
Solano641969
Madera455765
San Luis Obispo359729
Placer359645
Butte283744
Yolo282555
Santa Cruz23799
Sutter171711
Napa170513
San Benito134811
Yuba11588
El Dorado11444
Mendocino93918
Shasta88320
Lassen7410
Glenn5933
Tehama5795
Lake55911
Nevada5407
Colusa5326
Humboldt5098
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa762
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
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