PORTLAND, Ore. — COVID-19 has claimed eight more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 494, the Oregon Health Authority reported today September 9th.
Oregon Health Authority reported 125 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 28,471.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (7), Columbia (1), Curry (1), Deschutes (1), Jackson (7), Jefferson (1), Josephine (3), Klamath (1), Lane (11), Linn (11), Malheur (11), Marion (23), Morrow (2), Multnomah (22), Polk (2), Tillamook (2), Umatilla (5), Union (1), Washington (10), and Yamhill (1).
Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19
With air quality very poor across the state due to wildfires, OHA reminds Oregonians that exposure to smoke and other forms of pollution can increase the risk and severity of respiratory infections, including possibly COVID-19.
When smoke is heavy, the key protection strategy is to lessen exposure to the smoke, particularly for people who have a condition that makes them more sensitive. People can do this by staying inside at home, getting and using an air filter, and spending time in a cleaner air space. For those who are asked to evacuate or those who choose to leave home to go to an area with cleaner air, remember to take and use a face covering along with hand sanitizer and to practice physical distancing from non-household members.
If it’s safe to do so, staying home to lessen exposure to wildfire smoke also lessens the risk for contracting COVID-19. Further information on how to protect against wildfire smoke can be found at healthoregon.org/wildfires.
We’re aware that many of you are affected by the current wildfires, smoke, evacuations and windy weather emergencies. If you’re in an area affected by smoke and ash from wildfires, protect your health when smoke levels are high:
- Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
- Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
- Use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These can be portable filters or can be installed in indoor heating, ventilation, cooling and air purification systems.
- If you have heart or lung disease or asthma, follow your health care provider’s advice.
- If you evacuate your home, remember to take face coverings and hand sanitizer with you to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
See this video from our Public Health Division for more information:
You can find more information on how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke at healthoregon.org/wildfires. Oregon Smoke Information also coordinates local, state and federal information about wildfire smoke affecting Oregon communities.
Stay informed about COVID-19:
Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Office of Emergency Management lead the state response.
United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.
Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.
A reminder about masks during wildfire season
While it remains important to wear masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, please remember that cloth, dust and surgical masks don’t protect from the harmful particles in smoke.
Only N95 respirators may provide protection from smoke. However:
- They must be tested to ensure proper fit and be worn correctly. Otherwise, they might just provide a false sense of security.
- They are not available in children’s sizes and are not recommended for strenuous activities.
- They are also in limited supply due to COVID-19.
To learn more about wildfire smoke and COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.