SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon recorded 876 new presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and five new deaths.

The daily number continues Oregon’s trend of high case tallies as health officials struggle to contain a surge in coronavirus transmission mostly fueled by small indoor gatherings as the weather turns colder. There were 298 reported cases alone in Multnomah County, which is home to Portland.

Multnomah County Chairwoman Deborah Kafoury pleaded with her constituents to wear a mask, work from home if possible and avoid even small social gatherings.

“We slowed the spread before, and together, we can do it again,” she said.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise, state health officials told reporters Tuesday.

The Oregon Health Authority recorded a record 285 confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals Tuesday — a 57% increase compared to last week and 83% higher than the number of peoplehospitalized four weeks ago.


Currently out of Oregon’s 703 listed intensive care unit beds, 27% are available and about 18% of non-ICU adult hospital beds in the state are available, state health officials said Tuesday.

Nine counties with high COVID transmission — including all of the Portland metropolitan area — began a two-week pause on social activities Wednesday to attempt to keep the virus under control.

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 Oregon residents not to gather with people who do not live in their household and if they do so to limit the gatherings to six people.

These pause measures will be in effect from through Nov. 25 for Baker, Clackamas, Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, Jackson, Umatilla, Union and Washington counties.

Three of the deaths announced Wednesday were in Multnomah County and two were in Marion County.