Spike in Oregon COVID-19 cases tied to Union County church

A number of cases are associated with the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in Union County, the Oregon Health Authority said.

Posted: Jun 16, 2020 12:24 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s coronavirus cases continue to rise, with 184 new cases reported Monday -- the highest daily count in the state since the start of the pandemic.

The Oregon Health Authority says a portion of the increase is due to an outbreak in Union County in the rural northeastern part of the state, where 99 people tested positive for COVID-19. A number of cases are associated with the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in Union County, said Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director for infectious diseases and immunizations at the Health Authority Public Health Division.Authorities weren’t more specific about exactly how many cases were tied to the church.

Cieslak said because there were cases associated with the church, the county worked with it to host a testing clinic.

“We have been doing testing, especially targeted testing, around the places where we are starting to see clusters,” Cieslak. “The clusters cue us off where the disease transmission is going on and once you find a cluster and have a testing event like this, you find a lot of people infected.”

Cieslak said 365 people in Union County were tested over the weekend, and officials are expecting the remaining test results Tuesday.

Union County has a population of nearly 27,000 according to the U.S. Census. Prior to the latest, Union County had fewer than 25 confirmed cases during the pandemic.

“We were surprised by the number that tested positive,” Cieslak said.

The county moved into phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, which loosens restrictions on restaurants and gatherings, June 5.

“One of our messages that we are trying to get out to the public is that large gatherings, especially in close quarters if distancing can’t be maintained, are really an efficient way in spreading COVID-19,” Cieslak said. “Whether it be in a workplace, or especially a closed assembly area, this is really a concern.”

Monday’s reported cases across the state bring the new total number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in Oregon to 5,820. In addition, four more people have died from the disease, raising the state’s death toll to 180. The second highest daily case count in the state was 178 cases on Thursday.

In response to the increasing case counts Gov. Kate Brown last week said she was putting all county applications for further reopening from her COVID-19 restrictions on hold for seven days.

For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 65170

Reported Deaths: 820
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah14988210
Washington881596
Marion8321127
Clackamas535376
Umatilla409948
Lane382037
Jackson335623
Malheur230839
Deschutes191114
Yamhill156516
Linn126018
Polk105115
Douglas80415
Jefferson76511
Benton7097
Union6912
Klamath6854
Morrow6197
Lincoln56313
Wasco47218
Josephine4314
Columbia4223
Coos3831
Hood River3611
Clatsop3330
Baker2573
Crook1906
Grant1221
Tillamook1110
Curry1052
Lake980
Harney861
Wallowa702
Sherman230
Gilliam210
Wheeler20
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1114524

Reported Deaths: 18726
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3645207438
San Bernardino845311129
Riverside806761400
San Diego71648968
Orange696941554
Kern38316445
Fresno35973471
Sacramento33133546
Santa Clara30676463
Alameda27485499
San Joaquin24649503
Contra Costa22412258
Stanislaus20370416
Tulare19752303
Ventura18040174
Imperial15053353
San Francisco14445158
Monterey13886113
San Mateo13203169
Sonoma11428155
Merced10986176
Santa Barbara10922133
Kings1003886
Solano934980
Marin7518128
Placer577867
Madera571480
San Luis Obispo561835
Yolo419975
Shasta409542
Santa Cruz389827
Butte366459
Napa275717
Sutter263813
El Dorado19304
San Benito174115
Yuba173210
Lassen14803
Tehama143523
Mendocino138522
Nevada10189
Lake83218
Glenn8296
Humboldt7309
Tuolumne7088
Colusa6426
Mono4993
Siskiyou4951
Amador45016
Calaveras43421
Inyo28316
Del Norte2731
Plumas1770
Trinity1130
Modoc1110
Mariposa1042
Alpine420
Sierra170
Unassigned00
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