The number of coronavirus cases in Oregon reached a new second daily number on Saturday with 277 cases, just one day after it settled at 250. Another death from coronavirus has also been reported.
Multnomah County experienced the largest increase of any county with 59 cases. Umatilla County had the second largest increase at 56. Washington County had the third largest increase at 44.
The Oregon Health Authority reported the new cases on Saturday, one case below the daily record, while dwarfing 8,000 cases across the state.
Authorities did not mention a reason for the large increase in cases, either on Friday or Saturday, but cases have been on the rise for a month. Public health experts have said the increase is the result of Oregon’s reopening, which began in most counties on May 15, and of Oregonians who have failed to follow public health measures. The previous daily record of 278 cases was linked to a church in Union County.
Gov. Kate Brown told media members Saturday that she finds the increase alarming, but noted that other states have more cases. Brown said “all options are on the table” as to how the state will respond to the increase in cases.
“I hope to avoid a complete shutdown of the economy,” Brown said. “That is not my preferred approach, but Oregonians must take this seriously.”
The Oregon Health Authority also issued a correction after incorrectly reporting a woman’s death yesterday. The total number of deaths from coronavirus in Oregon remains at 202.
As of Saturday, authorities identified 8,094 confirmed or suspected cases of the disease.
Oregon’s figures reflect a national trend. The number of new cases in the United States has set records for each of the past three days, surpassing the previous high in April. According to The New York Times, 30 states are seeing upward trends in new cases.
On Friday, the Oregon Health Authority said residents should prepare to see “exponential growth” in coronavirus infections in the next three weeks, with approximately 900 to 5,000 new daily infections possible under moderate to pessimistic models.
The last reported death was an 84-year-old man in Multnomah County who died Monday. The Oregon Health Authority reported that he had underlying medical conditions.
Where the numbers grew: The new cases announced Saturday came from the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (16), Columbia (1), Coos (1), Crook (1), Deschutes (3), Jefferson (3), Josephine (2 ), Lake (1), Lane (14), Lincoln (2), Linn (4), Malheur (12), Marion (32), Morrow (5), Multnomah (59), Polk (2), Umatilla (56 ), Union (11), Wasco (2), Washington (44) and Yamhill (4).
Umatilla County set a new record with 56 new infections. The previous record was 53 new cases announced on Friday. The Oregon Health Authority has yet to respond to a request for information about the increase in Umatilla County.
Washington County set a new record with 44 new infections. The previous record was 39 cases, announced Friday.
Body count: The 202 people who died were from 16 counties: 69 people from Multnomah, 41 from Marion, 24 from Clackamas, 20 from Washington, 12 from Polk, nine from Linn, eight from Yamhill, five from Benton, four from Umatilla, three from Lane , two from Lincoln and one from Josephine, Malheur, Morrow, Union and Wasco.
Their ages ranged from 36 to 100 years old. Among them, 114 men and 88 women have died. All but six had underlying medical conditions.
The breakdown of deaths by age: ages 30-39 (1), ages 40-49 (3), ages 50-59 (9), ages 60-69 (40), ages 70-79 (55), ages 80 – more (95).
How the disease is spreading: Part of the problem is that contact trackers have been unable to identify the sources of a disturbing percentage of new cases – a third statewide.
In the Portland metro area, they have not identified sources for 34% of cases in Washington County, 42% in Clackamas County, and 45% in Multnomah County, according to the latest data available from 15 to June 21.
Public health officials have set a goal of keeping those numbers below 30%, which they say is necessary to keep the spread of the disease under control.
Officials say that, aside from the significant proportion of unknown sources, they know that the disease is spreading through outbreaks in food processing plants, group living situations such as nursing homes and prisons, and during social gatherings when friends and Family members get too close, don’t wear Masks or gather indoors.
County Case Totals: Multnomah County exceeded 2,000 infections. Two counties, Marion and Washington, have more than 1,000 known cases of coronavirus each. Another 10 counties, Clackamas, Deschutes, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Polk, Umatilla, Union and Yamhill, have reported at least 100 cases of coronavirus. Gilliam and Wheeler have not identified any.
Here’s the general count – confirmed and suspected cases – by county: Baker (1), Benton (82), Clackamas (681), Clatsop (48), Columbia (28), Coos (40), Crook (10), Curry (7), Deschutes (162), Douglas (38), Grant (1), Harney (1), Hood River, (88), Jackson (97), Jefferson (94), Josephine (30), Klamath (111), Lake (13), Lane (136), Lincoln (307 ), Linn (140), Malheur (85), Marion (1,432), Morrow (53), Multnomah (2,087), Polk (136), Sherman (1), Tillamook (7), Umatilla (419), Union (320 ), Wallowa (8), Wasco (60), Washington (1,258) and Yamhill (113).
Oregon’s Latino population has been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. Although Latinos represent 13% of the state’s population, they represent about 35% of all positive cases.
Tests: The number of tests performed was not immediately available on Saturday. Public health officials have said, however, that the disease is spreading further. The higher numbers are not just due to further testing.
Recoveries: At least 2,649 patients with COVID-19 have recovered from the disease, according to the latest numbers, released on Friday.
At the national level: More than 2.5 million people have been diagnosed with the disease, and 127,000 are known to have died.
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This article has been updated with comments from Governor Kate Brown.
Aimee Green, Shane Dixon Kavanaugh and Hillary Borrud of The Oregonian / OregonLive contributed to this report.
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