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State sets record with 550 new virus cases
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State sets record with 550 new virus cases

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Oregon set a record Friday with 550 new and presumptive coronavirus cases.

The case load reported by the Oregon Health Authority broke the old mark of 484 set Oct. 8.

State health officials said the increase is due to continued widespread community transmission resulting in small clusters and outbreaks across the state.

State officials said the high case count also is a reminder that Oregonians cannot let their guards down. OHA published new face covering guidance this week, which requires that people consistently wear face coverings while indoors at their workplace or all other places where they will be in contact with people from outside their household.

OHA has also asked Oregonians to rethink Halloween and avoid traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, avoid costume parties with people outside their own households and wear a face covering, because a Halloween mask won’t protect against COVID-19.

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“We all need to aggressively adhere to the face covering guidance and always wear a mask,” said Shimi Sharief, senior health advisor to the OHA. “We know everyone is tired and we all wish this would go away, but the reality is this disease is spreading in Oregon and it’s on all of us to protect ourselves and each other.”

The 550 new cases brings the state’s total to 41,348. A total of 19 cases were in Linn County, bringing its total to 788 and 15 deaths. Benton County saw nine new cases, bringing its total to 433 and six deaths.

The other new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases were in the following counties, which are listed alphabetically: Baker (1), Clackamas (48), Columbia (3), Coos (5), Crook (7), Curry (1), Deschutes (11), Douglas (3), Grant (1), Harney (1), Hood River (4), Jackson (33), Jefferson (1), Josephine (1), Klamath (1), Lane (52), Lincoln (2), Malheur (13), Marion (57), Morrow (1), Multnomah (135), Polk (3), Umatilla (21), Union (1), Wasco (2), Washington (91), and Yamhill (23).

Presumptive cases are people without a positive diagnostic test who have COVID-19-like symptoms and had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed case.

In addition to the new cases the OHA reported three more deaths in Oregon, bringing the state’s total to 649. The three deaths were an 82-year-old woman in Marion County, a 79-year-old woman in Multnomah County and a 68-year-old man in Multnomah. All three individuals had underlying medical conditions.

COVID-19 continues to hit older segments of the Oregon population the hardest. Just six of the state’s 649 deaths have involved individuals who are younger than 40. A total of 8,989 cases (22%) have come from those 20-29, but there is just one death in this group. More than half of the deaths, 330, have come with individuals 80 and older, although that age group has just 4% of the state’s cases (1,478).

Multnomah continues to lead the state with 8,955 cases and 159 deaths. Next are Marion (5,684 cases and 107 deaths) and Washington (5,612 cases and 74 deaths).

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@lee.net or 541-812-6116. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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