PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon logged five new deaths and 805 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, setting a new daily case count high.
The previous daily case count record was set on October 30 when Oregon reported 600 new cases.
The Oregon Health Authority said the new confirmed and presumptive cases were in the following counties: Baker (13), Benton (7), Clackamas (71), Clatsop (1), Columbia (7), Coos (2), Crook (4), Deschutes (45), Douglas (10), Grant (5), Hood River (2), Jackson (67), Jefferson (4), Josephine (9), Klamath (1), Lane (37), Lincoln (1), Linn (24), Malheur (18), Marion (79), Morrow (3), Multnomah (196), Polk (8), Umatilla (26), Union (7), Wallowa (1), Wasco (6), Washington (134), and Yamhill (17).
There were also five new deaths in Oregon, including a 74-year-old man in Clackamas County, an 86-year-old man in Multnomah County, a 62-year-old woman in Douglas County, an 80-year-old woman in Douglas County and a 75-year-old man in Crook County. Health officials said they were working to confirm whether all of these people had underlying conditions. Oregon’s death toll is now at 710.
The news cases have increased the statewide total to 47,839.
“COVID-19 is spreading in Oregon at an unprecedented rate, driven in no small measure by in-person, indoor social gatherings. You are most likely to get COVID-19 from your family and friends,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Let me be clear: we cannot allow this disease to continue to spread so rapidly in our communities. Lives are at stake. Oregonians have made tremendous sacrifices to help each other throughout this pandemic, which is why Oregon has done relatively better than many other states at containing COVID-19. We can’t let up now. I will take further action to stop the spread of COVID-19, and I need Oregonians to continue to do their part as well.”
Dean Sidelinger, state health officer at OHA, said case investigations were still underway but the trending uptick in daily case numbers show the virus is spreading through small informal gatherings rather than large workplace outbreaks. He said the percentage of positive tests is also increasing and was up to 8.5% last week.
“All this data leads us to conclude that Oregonians are circulating more in their communities and letting their guard down more and doing so as the weather turns colder, and they are spending more time indoors,” said Sidelinger. “Our tools to manage such spread rely on Oregonians getting more strict with themselves: not gathering or attending parties of any kind, wearing face coverings when outside the household, and physically distancing at all times.”
‘It’s really the time to be responsible’
Forest Grove resident Rebecca Frasure remembers all-too-well her own experience with the coronavirus. Frasure and her husband were on a cruise ship in Japan when the outbreak began. She tested positive and was removed from the ship and treated at a Japanese hospital for weeks, being made to wait until she tested negative — twice — before being permitted to leave.
“It was the most emotionally and mentally challenging thing I have ever done,” she told KOIN 6 News on Thursday. “I think that I do in some aspects have a little bit of PTSD from it.”
Meanwhile, Frasure’s husband, Kent, was in quarantine lockdown on the cruise ship. After seven long weeks, the couple returned to their home in Forest Grove just before the governor issued a statewide stay-home order.
Eight months later, Frasure says the current situation feels surreal and she’s scared about what may happen as case tallies continue to spike. With Thanksgiving just a few short weeks away, Frasure said it’s possible they won’t share the family meal with extended family this year.
“It’s really the time to be responsible and find another way just for this year,” she said. “What happens if you have that Thanksgiving dinner and it’s the last one for one of your loved ones because of this?”