COVID-19 has claimed five more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 710, the Oregon Health Authority reported Thursday.
Included in today’s report is the death of a 75-year-old Crook County man who tested positive on Oct. 29 and died on Oct. 17 in his residence. The presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
The OHA also reported 805 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 47,839.
Today’s number is by far a record for a single-day count.
“Let me be clear, we cannot allow this disease to continue to spread so rapidly in our communities. Lives are at stake,” Gov. Kate Brown said. “Oregonians have made tremendous sacrifices to help each other throughout this pandemic, which is why Oregon has done relatively better than many other states at containing COVID-19. We can’t let up now. I will take further action to stop the spread of COVID-19, and I need Oregonians to continue to do their part as well.”
“Our data on the cases reported today is incomplete, as the case investigations are in process,” said Dean Sidelinger, state health officer at OHA. “But the case data from the past several days and weeks continue to show that the increased spread is driven through small informal gatherings and not due to large workplace or other outbreaks. Oregon’s sporadic cases, those not traced to a source, are also increasing.”
Sidelinger said the percentage of tests that come back positive are rising – up to 8.5% last week.
“All this data leads us to conclude that Oregonians are circulating more in their communities and letting their guard down more and doing so as the weather turns colder, and they are spending more time indoors.” he said. “Our tools to manage such spread rely on Oregonians getting more strict with themselves: not gathering or attending parties of any kind, wearing face coverings when outside the household, and physically distancing at all times.”
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (13), Benton (7), Clackamas (71), Clatsop (1), Columbia (7), Coos (2), Crook (4), Deschutes (45), Douglas (10), Grant (5), Hood River (2), Jackson (67), Jefferson (4), Josephine (9), Klamath (1), Lane (37), Lincoln (1), Linn (24), Malheur (18), Marion (79), Morrow (3), Multnomah (196), Polk (8), Umatilla (26), Union (7), Wallowa (1), Wasco (6), Washington (134), and Yamhill (17).
Deschutes County’s 45 cases are a new single-day high and continue the local spike over the last few weeks.
Morgan Emerson, the emergency preparedness coordinator for the county, said the cases are primarily from close contacts, household contacts and workplace clusters.
“The primary driver is people beginning to take more risks and be less vigilant about taking precautions,” she said. “We need our community’s help to take precautions and lower spread.”
The county has reported 1,370 cases and 13 deaths; 1,081 patients have recovered.
Jefferson County has reported 622 cases and 11 deaths.
Crook County has reported 131 cases and five deaths.
St. Charles on Thursday reported seven COVID patients; three are in the ICU and one is on a ventilator.