As cases rise in MultCo, so does COVID test backlog


In Multnomah County the cases have doubled in the past month

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Not surprisingly, Oregon’s most populated county, Multnomah, continues to see the largest number of COVID cases. On Monday, Multnomah County recorded 254 of the 1174 cases reported by the Oregon Health Authority.

But there is a backlog in processing the test results.

Multnomah County health officials said they are working to eliminate the backlog, but what’s not in dispute is that case counts are rising dramatically. Case data is entered manually and they admit they’ve had trouble keeping up. That includes a delay in contact tracers reaching those who were in close contact with someone who tested positive.

In Multnomah County the cases have doubled in the past month and they’re expecting it to get even worse as people are inside more often and getting together with others.

“What we should be looking at is a trend over time,” said Multnomah County Communicable Disease Manager Lisa Ferguson. “We see last week compared to the week before, we have more cases and when we looked at this month compared to last month, we’ve doubled the cases we have.

While people are lining up to get tested in advance of the holiday, a test is really more for people who have been in contact with someone who tested positive or someone who has symptoms. Test results can often take days for a result.

Thanksgiving guests

One doctor told KOIN 6 News that if you are having guests over for Thanksgiving who aren’t in your bubble, space them out at the dinner table or tables, ask people not to talk too loudly (“spraying” droplets) and not share serving spoons. Everyone should get their own plate, silverware and use separate serving utensils — and mask up when not eating.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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