Coronavirus in Oregon: 259 new cases and two deaths

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The Oregon Health Authority reported 259 new cases of the coronavirus and two deaths on Friday as officials say they see promising signs that efforts by Oregonians are slowing the spread of the infection.

State officials told a press conference on Friday that the percentage of positive tests was held up and that average hospitalizations had declined over the past week.

New modeling shows that cases are stagnating at around 900 infections per day, with 250 being formally diagnosed. Officials said the state is currently experiencing an infection rate of 5.4% of Oregonians tested.

Oregon Health Authority director Patrick Allen also told a news conference that the state recently struck a deal with Thermo Fisher Scientific, a Massachusetts-based industrial instruments company, to get more 400,000 new coronavirus tests, which will add more than 20,000 tests per week.

However, state epidemiologist Dr Dean Sidelinger told reporters that despite the promising signs, transmission rates are still unlikely to be low enough to reopen schools in the fall.

Governor Kate Brown said in the same press conference On Friday, transmission rates will have to be significantly lower to reopen schools.

“We have stabilized at about 300 cases per day in Oregon,” she said. “We have to go down to 60 cases a day. “

Additional restrictions may be needed if infection rates have not dropped to a certain level by the end of the month, Brown said.

Where new cases are by county: Benton (2), Clackamas (16), Columbia (1), Coos (1), Curry (1), Deschutes (2), Douglas (1), Hood River (2), Jackson (18), Jefferson (6) , Klamath (2), Lane (4), Lincoln (6), Linn (3), Malheur (28), Marion (55), Morrow (3), Multnomah (38), Polk (8), Umatilla (17) , Union (1), Wasco (1), Washington (25) and Yamhill (18).

New deaths: Oregon’s 413rd coronavirus death is a 79-year-old man from Lane County who had underlying unspecified health issues. He tested positive on July 24 and died on August 19 at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center Riverbend.

The 414th death is a 96-year-old woman in Marion County. She died on August 19 in Salem hospital after testing positive on August 11. She too had underlying unspecified health problems.

The Oregon Department of Corrections also reported Friday that a man aged 60 to 70 who was incarcerated at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Facility tested positive for the coronavirus and died on Thursday. at the local hospital. The Oregon Health Authority has yet to report the death – the third inmate death linked to the pandemic – although public health officials will likely include it in their tally this weekend.

Prevalence of infection: State officials have released the results of 4,937 new coronavirus tests since Thursday, 239 of which came back positive. That’s a 4.8% positivity rate.

Who was infected: State officials have reported 256 new confirmed or suspected infections since Thursday among the following ages: 0-9 (12); 10-19 (32); 20-29 (59); 30-39 (45); 40-49 (34); 50-59 (29); 60-69 (20); 70-79 (13); 80 years and over (10).

Who is in the hospital: State officials reported on Friday that 111 Oregonians are currently hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, 24 fewer than Thursday and 56 fewer than a week ago. Hundreds of hospital beds and ventilators remain available.

From the beginning : The state has reported 24,421 cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. A total of 510,056 Oregonians have been tested.

–Bryce Dole; bdole @ oregonian; 541-660-9844; @DoleBryce

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