PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon public health officials reported 278 new cases of coronavirus in the state as of Tuesday morning — for the second day in a row setting a single-day high for new cases following several record jumps over the past week.
The state also reported that two more deaths have occurred due to COVID-19. At present, 182 deaths have been attributed to the virus.
Today’s numbers are consistent with a recent trend of more cases in the state. The increase in cases is due to workplace outbreaks as well as potential spread in the community, not tied to a known case.— OR Health Authority (@OHAOregon) June 16, 2020
The Oregon Health Authority said that there are now a total of 6,098 people in the state who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, either through a positive test or as a "presumptive" case with relevant symptoms and confirmed contact with a positive case.
"Today’s numbers are consistent with a recent trend of more cases in the state," OHA said. "The increase in cases is due to workplace outbreaks as well as potential spread in the community, not tied to a known case."
Many of Oregon's cases over the past two days stemmed from Union County, reportedly linked to an outbreak at Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in LaGrande. Union County saw 99 new cases on Monday. By Tuesday, the number of cases in the county had nearly doubled to 240 from 121 the day before.
OHA said that 236 people linked specifically to the Lighthouse outbreak had tested positive after public health officials conducted testing on a total of 356 people, representing the majority of the congregation. The agency said that this represents the largest single outbreak in the state so far.
Officials also said that they had asked county public health officials to inquire with positive cases if they had attended any of the recent demonstrations following George Floyd's death, but OHA has not yet seen a "significant number" of cases linked to those protests.
OHA reported new cases in the following counties: Clackamas (21), Crook (1), Hood River (1), Jackson (1), Jefferson (1), Josephine (1), Klamath (8), Lane (1), Lincoln (17), Marion (22), Morrow (2), Multnomah (42), Umatilla (1), Union (119), Wasco (1), Washington (37), Yamhill (2).
Public health officials gave the following information about the latest reported fatalities:
- Oregon’s 181st COVID-19 death is an 89-year-old man in Clackamas County, who tested positive on June 13 and died on June 15, in his residence. He had underlying medical conditions.
- Oregon’s 182nd COVID-19 death is an 85-year-old woman in Marion County, who tested positive on June 11 and died on June 13, at Salem Hospital. She had underlying medical conditions.
The number of new Oregon cases has been rising sharply over the past several weeks as many counties began entering new phases of reopening, lifting previous restrictions. While some of these increases can be attributed to expanded testing, OHA officials have sounded the alarm about a rise in transmission rates.
Many of the large single-day increases in cases have been linked to workplace outbreaks and resulting contact tracing investigations. Some of the largest outbreaks have been at food processing facilities in the state.