▶️ Spike in local COVID cases hitting younger population

By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

After a relatively quiet first half of the month, Deschutes County has reported 22 new COVID-19 cases over the last five days.

But local health officials say it’s doubtful they’re related to the recent reopening of restaurants, gyms, salons and other businesses.

“It’s not inherently that phase one reopening is what’s causing this, it’s our behaviors and what we’re choosing to do,” said Morgan Emerson with Deschutes County Health Services. “Not wearing those cloth face coverings and taking these measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Overall, Deschutes County has reported 117 cases of COVID-19. Of those cases, 85 patients have recovered, according to the health department.

The spike in cases is also connected to testing.

Just two weeks ago, the county administered around 600 tests. Last week, that number jumped to nearly 900.

Another interesting stat among the cases: about half of the new 26 new cases reported since May 14th were patients under the age of 30.

And reopening, almost 75% of new cases have been identified through contact tracing

“What that’s telling us is that one of the biggest risk factors that we’re seeing in these cases is individuals having a lot of contact with people outside of their household,” Emerson said.

With Memorial Day Weekend coming up, Emerson says this isn’t the year for that big BBQ with your buddies.

“We know that we’re all vulnerable, and it’s critical for us all to take these precautions,” Emerson said.

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