This story will be updated throughout the day
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Here is the latest information from March 29, 2020, in Oregon and Southwest Washington in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:
No new deaths, Oregon state total reaches 548
The Oregon Health Authority said Sunday it has confirmed 69 new cases of COVID-19. No new deaths were reported, leaving the Oregon death toll at 13.
The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (3), Deschutes (3), Hood River (1), Jackson (11), Josephine (1), Klamath (2), Lane (1), Linn (4), Marion (15), Multnomah (10), Polk (2), Tillamook (1), Wasco (1), Washington (14).
By Sunday evening, Lane County public health officials reported finding an additional case, bringing the county’s total number of positive cases to 12—the figure won’t be reflected in OHA’s total until Monday morning’s update.
Washington numbers rise
Numbers related to the COVID-19 outbreak in Washington state were last updated at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, March 28. At that time, the state’s total number of confirmed cases reached 4,896 and there were 195 reported deaths. These statistics put the percent of deaths at 4%.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration for the state of Oregon. The declaration orders federal assistance to aid state, tribal and local recovery efforts. The order is back-dated to Jan. 20 and brings to 18 the number of states with disaster declarations due to the novel coronavirus.
Gov. Kate Brown responded to the declaration, calling it a “important first step towards unlocking all available federal resources for Oregon’s state, tribal, and local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” However, she also said in that statement that there are still a number of requests from the federal government that have gone unanswered and said that she would continue to “fight for access to every tool available to keep Oregonians safe from COVID-19.”
Updates from March 28, 2020
Oregon death toll rises to 13; 65 new COVID-19 cases reported
The death toll stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak in Oregon has reached 13, the Oregon Health Authority confirmed Saturday.
A 93-year-old man in Yamhill County who tested positive on March 18, 2020, died on Friday at Providence Newberg Medical Center. He had no known underlying medical conditions.
OHA also confirmed 65 new cases of the coronavirus in the state bringing the total to 479. The COVID-19 cases reported Saturday are in the following counties: Benton (3), Clackamas (5), Clatsop (1), Deschutes (2), Jackson (2), Josephine (1), Linn (4), Marion (11), Multnomah (14), Polk (1), Umatilla (1), Washington (18), Yamhill (2).
Washington death toll rises to 189; 587 new COVID-19 cases reported
As of Saturday evening, Washington state reported that 14 more people have died from the novel coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to 189 deaths. Additionally, state health officials said the number of confirmed cases rose to 4,310.
King County remains the area with the highest reported cases and deaths from the virus in the state of Washington.
An employee at Brookdale Beaverton, a senior living facility, has tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson confirmed on Saturday.
The positive results were returned on Friday, March 27, and the associate’s most recent day at work was Thursday, March 26. Residents and their family members were informed, according to the spokesperson, and those living or working in the facility will be monitored for symptoms of the virus.
“We continue to work directly with local health officials to help ensure our residents and associates have the appropriate and necessary medical support. We will continue to follow the guidance of the Washington County Department of Health and Human Services throughout this situation.”
Mt. Hood Community College
Over the weekend, Mt. Hood Community College learned of its first confirmed case of the coronavirus within its college community. President Lisa Skari emailed students and staff on Friday to notify them of the development.
The employee who tested positive was last on campus on Friday, March 20, according to Skari. That person is now in isolation as they recover. College officials are working to notify people who came into contact with the employee in recent weeks and “those identified will be in quarantine and will not be back at work for at least 14 days,” Skari wrote in a statement.
The college campus was closed this past week and crews were already on site to sanitize the facilities.
Oregon Governor shares a message
On Saturday afternoon, Governor Kate Brown shared a message with Oregonians via YouTube and Twitter during which she announced the second phase of the “Stay Home, Save Lives” public awareness campaign. Brown said the goal of the campaign was simple: to unite Oregonians and save lives. She also highlighted the state’s essential workers and the sacrifices they are making for their communities.
“When you stay home, you keep them safe and they work to keep our state going,” said Brown. “Staying home is a key part of our fight against COVID-19.”
Based on the Oregon Health Authority’s forecasted models of the spread of the virus in the state, Brown was optimistic that Oregonians are already making a difference when it comes to flattening the curve. She referenced declines in ridership at both the airport and on TriMet transit—an indicator that Oregonians in the Portland area are cutting back on their travel and staying home. She also made note of the new policy that allows residents to pump their own gas.
In her update, Brown said the state’s testing capacity has increased. More than 7,000 tests were conducted last week and several hospitals across Oregon are now capable of processing those tests in-house. On Friday, FEMA delivered 140 ventilators, which Brown called “a good start.”
Updates from March 27, 2020
Oregon’s death toll rises to 12; 98 new COVID-19 cases reported
Oregon health officials announced on Friday that an 82-year-old Marion County woman has died from complications related to COVID-19, making her the 12th person to die from the novel coronavirus.
The woman, who was unnamed by officials, tested positive on March 20 and died March 25 at Salem Hospital. She had reported underlying medical conditions, according to Oregon Health Authority.
Meanwhile, 98 new cases across the state were also reported, making the statewide total 414 as of Friday morning.
Columbia and Morrow counties announced their first coronavirus cases Friday morning, while the number of positive cases in Marion, Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas rose by 26, 22, 18 and 10 cases, respectively. The counties of Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Linn, Polk, Umatilla, Wasco and Yamhill also announced at least one case.
OHSU med students graduate early
Some medical students at OHSU are graduating early and because of the pandemic, they will be able to work in the healthcare system several months early. One recent graduate, Dr. German Ferrer, said he will start his family medicine residency in Southern Oregon in just a few weeks.
Typically, he and other early graduates would not start residency until July, but for the first time this year, OHSU overcame regulatory hurdles to help meet coronavirus staffing demands.
As many as five OHSU graduates will start early.
Powell’s Books staying afloat
Thanks to a huge response from online shoppers, Powell’s Books is staying afloat. Earlier this month, owner Emily Powell said the business was in trouble because of the shutdown from the pandemic.
Since then, business has flooded in to Powells.com — enough business to keep more than 100 people working full time.
“We’re going to keep the doors to Powells.com open as long as we can and we will open the doors to all of our stores as soon as it is safe to do so,” she said in a statement.
Salem-Keizer students to get Chromebooks
The Salem-Keizer School Districts will provide free rental for Chromebooks to all students on April 2-3. Students need to either bring their ID or know their number. Pickup at each traditional high school on those days. Details through Salem-Keizer tweet