SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority reported 2,585 coronavirus cases between Saturday and Monday, a three-day total that surpasses most weekly case counts from August, September and October.
There were 723 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 reported Monday, bringing the state total to 51,155. The death toll in Oregon is 734.
On Saturday the Oregon Health Authority reported a record number of 988 daily cases. On Sunday they reported an additional 874.
“That’s more cases in a day than we once saw in a week, or a month,” Gov. Kate Brown tweeted Saturday about the daily case count. “We have lost too many lives to COVID-19. It’s time to go on offense. To protect our families. Our loved ones with health conditions. With compromised immune systems. It’s on all of us to protect each other.”
Brown announced last week, following a concerning rise in cases cases, a two-week pause on social activities in nine counties.
The updated safety measures include halting visitations to long-term care facilities, reducing the capacity of indoor dining at restaurants to 50 people, encouraging all business to mandate work from home and urging Oregonians not to gather with people who do not live in their household, but if they do to limit it to six people.
These pause measures will be in effect from Nov. 11 through Nov. 25, for Baker, Clackamas, Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, Jackson, Umatilla, Union and Washington counties.
The threshold for counties being added to the two-week pause is counties with a case rate above 200 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period, or more than 60 cases over a two-week period for counties with less than 30,000 people.
Five additional counties––Washington, Baker, Union, Clackamas and Linn––are close to the COVID-19 thresholds that would necessitate adding them to the two week pause. The Oregon Health Authority will determine Monday if any of these counties will be added.
The counties that reported the most new cases Monday were Multnomah, 204 cases; Washington, 119 cases; Marion, 79 cases and; Clackamas, 68 cases.
Brown has warned about expanding and adding COVID-19 safety measures, such as travel restrictions and closing the doors of businesses, in the past if cases increase. The decision for a two-week social activity pause is due to the way the disease is spreading across the state.
“As we continue to see alarmingly high case rates reflective of sporadic community spread, now is the time to implement measures to further reduce gatherings and curb human contact,” Brown said. “The two-week pause measures are designed to reduce the amount of people we interact with and the frequency of those encounters.”
Health officials said that the “unprecedented” case numbers suggest that Oregonians are circulating more in their communities, letting their guard down and attending more indoor social gatherings.
Officials cited that a significant amount of cases have been linked to family get-togethers, holiday parties and university students returning to campus.
Outbreaks at workplaces as well as long-term care facilities and close living quarters continue to contribute to new cases.
Ten people at Salem’s Union Gospel Mission, a men’s shelter, tested positive for COVID-19 Monday, the Statesman Journal reported. The mission has temporarily closed it’s doors due to the outbreak.
Cline is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.