Highest daily case count since the beginning of the pandemic in Oregon, Oct. 8th; Survey shows most state residents wear masks

Over the past few weeks, Oregon has seen a steady rise in daily cases. Sadly, today we see the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported in Oregon. During a media briefing today, Deputy State Health Officer and State Epidemiologist Dr. Tom Jeanne said that cases have been caused by infections passed along at social gatherings, workplaces and long-term care facilities.  

This increase in cases has reversed the progress we made in the late summer, and our most recent modeling shows the virus is spreading more rapidly just as we enter the fall and winter when Oregonians will spend more time indoors.
That means that COVID-19 is in communities across Oregon. When the virus is in the community, it will spread if people don’t take precautions. If people don’t wear masks and socialize frequently with people outside their households and gather in groups, the virus will enter our workplaces and nursing homes.
Dr. Jeanne reminds us: Every one of us needs to continue to take this threat seriously. The choices we make affect not only us and our families but our neighbors, our communities and the most vulnerable people among us.
You have worked hard to limit the spread of COVID-19. Keep it up: Wear face coverings, keep physically distant, frequently wash your hands, and avoid gathering in groups.

Survey results: Most state residents wear masks in public, but many continue to gather socially on a frequent basis

Two surveys released today show that a large majority of people in Oregon are taking steps to limit their exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

survey of 1,000 Oregonians, conducted by DHM Research, found the following:

  • More than eight in 10 report wearing masks nearly all of the time while in public indoor spaces.
  • More than two in three avoid crowded places.
  • More than six in 10 are staying 6 feet apart when in public.

The survey also found the following about how often people attend gatherings:

  • Half of Oregonians report attending about four or more social gatherings in the previous two weeks.
  • One in five Oregonians say they have attended at least one social gathering of more than 10 people in the past two weeks.
  • 16% of respondents said they participated in 11 or more social gatherings in the previous two weeks.

A separate survey of 468 Latinx Oregonians conducted in Spanish by Lara Media found the following:

  • 87% of respondents report wearing a face mask nearly all of the time while in public indoor spaces.
  • More than half of respondents avoid crowded places.
  • More than six in 10 are staying 6 feet apart when in public.

The survey found different levels of concern about COVID-19 among respondents based on age, geography, political views and race/ethnicity. Latinos expressed higher levels of concern than whites and reported wearing masks more frequently. Members of the Latinx community have accounted for nearly 40% of Oregon’s COVID-19 cases.

Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said, “These results show that nearly all Oregonians understand it’s important to wear a mask. But fewer Oregonians believe they’re at risk of getting sick and too many people are socializing indoors in bigger groups. It’s hard to sustain the changes we’ve all had to make in our lives to keep ourselves and others safe from COVID-19. But we won’t be able to prevent more infections, and get more schools and businesses open in Oregon, until more people act with urgency and avoid the social super-spreader gatherings that have driven COVID-19 transmission and disease in Oregon.”

Full reports of the DHM and Lara Media surveys can be found at the OHA website.

COVID-19 workplace outbreak at 59 cases

An outbreak of 59 cases of COVID-19 has been reported at Planasa Oregon Operations LLC in Klamath County. The case count includes all persons linked to the outbreak, which may include household members and other close contacts to an employee.

The outbreak investigation started on Oct. 1, but the initial case count was below the threshold for public disclosure. State and county public health officials are working with the business to address the outbreak and protect the health of workers.

Due to a delay in reporting, 40 cases from today‘s daily case count for Klamath County have been added to case counts for the week ending Oct. 3. Twelve additional cases that were originally reported in a different jurisdiction were transferred to Klamath County. All 52 cases will be added to the week ending Oct. 3 in order to be counted toward the county’s school reopening metrics. The delay in reporting resulted from initial uncertainty about the location of the worksite where many of the cases were employed.

#MyORHealth horizontal rule

Oregon reports 484 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths

COVID-19 has claimed 11 more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 594, the Oregon Health Authority reported Thursday October 8th.

OHA also reported 484 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 36,116.

Today’s is the highest daily case count since the beginning of the pandemic in Oregon. 

A large workplace outbreak in Klamath County – 59 cases – contributes to the high number. The remainder of the 484 new cases reported today are being investigated so it is too soon to know the sources of the increase.

The recent increase in cases reported in the OHA Weekly Report yesterday indicated that most cases continue to be traced to outbreaks in long-term care facilities, workplaces and social gatherings.

The new cases are in the following counties: Baker (1), Benton (11), Clackamas (31), Columbia (8), Coos (1), Curry (1), Deschutes (17), Douglas (9), Gilliam (1), Hood River (3), Jackson (17), Jefferson (11), Josephine (2), Klamath (44), Lane (71), Lincoln (3), Linn (20), Malheur (16), Marion (31), Morrow (5), Multnomah (82), Polk (5), Umatilla (18), Union (2), Wasco (4), Washington (58) and Yamhill (12).