The news moves pretty fast, and COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Oregon. The Daily Emerald summarized this week’s coronavirus news. See what you might have missed:
Lane County reported 78 new cases since Aug. 27, bringing the county total to 750 since the beginning of the pandemic. As of Sept. 3, 46 residents are infectious and two are hospitalized.
Lane County Public Health announced one COVID-19 related death on Aug. 31, bringing the total number of deaths to six. LCPH has tested 56,002 people since the beginning of the pandemic, according to LCPH data.
Between Aug. 28 and 30 — a span of three days — Lane County reported 45 new cases. Of the cases, 27 were reported just over the weekend.
Travel-related cases continue to be a trend in Lane County, LCPH Spokesperson Jason Davis said during a briefing on Tuesday. Davis encouraged residents to wear masks during travel or with those who have traveled, even if they are family or friends.
LCPH announced the first coronavirus outbreak in a long-term care facility in the county, Davis said. At Evergreen Memory Care in Eugene, 12 residents and six staff were infected. Evergreen Memory Care was following safety guidelines and protocols, Davis said.
Davis believed an outbreak at a care facility in Lane County was inevitable, given the vulnerability of older populations and the prevalence of asymptomatic cases.
“This really could happen to any facility,” he said.
Davis expects to report more outbreaks and clusters after seeing the recent jumps in cases over the weekend. He also encouraged all residents to continue wearing masks, practice social distancing and get a flu shot. Vulnerable groups will benefit if low-risk residents also follow these guidelines, he said.
“Any time we’re trying to protect one group of people in our community,” Davis said, “it takes action from everyone.”
University of Oregon
The University of Oregon reported 53 cases of the coronavirus in Eugene, with one new case reported on Sept. 2. Five cases have been travel-related.
The university’s coronavirus webpage now reports the “Current UO COVID-19 Alert Level.” Several indicators contribute to determining the alert level, according to the webpage, including changes in transmission, public health mandates and the amount of supplies available to manage the spread on campus.
As of Sept. 3, the university is at a moderate alert level, indicating a “moderate” number of cases and stable capacity in health care facilities.
The state of Oregon has seen 27,336 total cases since the pandemic began. The Oregon Health Authority has reported 470 deaths in the state as of Sept. 3.
Just on Sept. 3, the OHA reported 274 new cases and three new deaths.
Daily cases in Oregon continue to decline, according to OHA data, and the age group with the highest reported infection continues to be those between ages 20 and 29.
OHA also reported an outbreak in Morrow County at Port of Morrow Cold Storage. The outbreak involved 21 cases and the investigation began on Aug. 1 before the case count was above the threshold for public disclosure.
On Tuesday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown extended the state of emergency until Nov. 3. The declaration allows Brown to announce executive orders for the state and continue existing orders.
Brown said Oregon has one of the lowest mortality rates in the country, but “until there is an effective vaccine for COVID-19, this disease can spread like wildfire if we let our guard down.”
“Small social get-togethers like barbecues and family celebrations have fueled wider community outbreaks in counties across Oregon,” Brown said. “This weekend, you have a choice. Please, stay local this Labor Day, and practice safe COVID-19 habits. Wear a face covering, watch your physical distance, and wash your hands.