With infection spreading through social gatherings, Oregon set yet another single-day record on Thursday with 437 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority reported.
The latest daily tally, the highest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, raised the state’s case count to 13,509. Two more deaths were reported on Thursday as well, raising Oregon’s death toll from the disease to 249. The dead, both from Malheur County, were a 97-year-old man with underlying medical conditions and a 58-year-old woman whose health conditions are being confirmed.
States all over the country have seen surging case counts since they began easing gathering limits and restrictions on business operations. Washington state also reported a single-day record Thursday, with 1,267 new cases.
Most Oregon counties went into Phase 2 of the state’s reopening framework early last month, and case counts began climbing shortly afterward.
Since that time, OHA officials say, they have seen outbreaks resulting from people gathering with family and friends to celebrate graduations, birthdays, weddings, holidays and other special occasions. A sharp rise in infections among people in their 20s and 30s has been linked in part to exercise classes, fraternity parties and bachelor parties, according to OHA.
State public health officials urge Oregonians to limit the size of social gatherings, maintain at least 6 feet of distance from non-household members and wear a face covering in indoor public spaces. Masks should also be worn outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
OHA tallied 2,043 new cases during the week of July 6-12, a 7% increase over the week before, according to OHA. More than 32,000 people were tested for COVID-19 during that span with 6.2% testing positive, up from 5% the prior week. Not all positive results count as new cases, however; some are from specimens collected from people who were already presumed to have the disease.
One death has been confirmed in connection with a COVID-19 outbreak that reportedly sickened eight people, including at least one staff member, at Regent Court Senior Living in Corvallis. The outbreak had previously been listed as resolved, with no fatalities, in a report issued last week by the Oregon Health Authority.
“The death was a resident who was on hospice care at the time of testing positive yet remained asymptomatic,” said Amira Fahoum, a spokesperson for Regent Court’s parent company, Compass Senior Living. “At this time, the community has been cleared to continue operations as they were prior to the positive cases, and we are fortunate that all remaining positive cases have recovered.”
Nationally, 67,404 new cases were reported on Thursday, raising the U.S. total to 3,483,832, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national death toll now stands at 136,938, with 947 of those reported Thursday.