Spike in central Oregon coronavirus cases tied to family, social gatherings

Coronavirus

Downtown Redmond in central Oregon’s Deschutes County. This article was originally published by The Oregonian/Oregon Live, one of more than a dozen news organizations throughout the state sharing their coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak to help inform Oregonians about this evolving health issue.(Jamie Francis/The Oregonian)

REDMOND, Ore. (The Oregonian/Oregon Live) — A spike in reported coronavirus cases in Redmond last week has been tied to family and social gatherings in the area.

Last week’s breakdown of coronavirus cases by ZIP code in Oregon reported eight new cases of COVID-19 in the central Oregon town. That brought Redmond up to only 18 reported cases to date, but amounted to an 80% change over the previous week – the highest in the state.

Public health officials in Deschutes County told KTVZ on Friday that most of the county’s new cases can be traced to social gatherings with extended family, like barbecues and celebrations.

Morgan Emerson, preparedness coordinator with Deschutes County Health Services, told the TV station that 18 of the county’s 25 new cases could be traced back to family or social gatherings, including some of the coronavirus cases in Redmond.

“Some of this rise is due to multi-household gatherings,” Emerson told KTVZ. “We have seen similar trends of cases associated with attending family and social gatherings in other areas of Deschutes County as well.”

Emerson said the new cases predate Deschutes County’s recent approval for Oregon’s Phase 1 reopening plan. The majority of new cases came from known contacts, not strangers, she said.

State officials have urged people to stay close to home for Memorial Day weekend, and to avoid large gatherings with anyone outside of your own household.

“Even if you’re healthy, going to a large Memorial Day barbecue, a large event, many extended households getting together — this isn’t the year,” Emerson said.

Top 10 percentage increases in cases by ZIP code, as of May 19:

1. Redmond (97756): 80% increase

2. North Portland (97203): 44.4%

3. Ontario (97914): 36.4%

4. Yamhill County (97128): 33.3%

5. Milwaukie (97222): 30.8% increase (ZIP code includes Prestige Post-Acute and Rehabilitation Center, which had one or two cases.)

6. South Salem (97306): 30.8%

7. Albany (97321): 26.1%

8. East Portland (97230): 25.9% (ZIP code includes Prestige Care and Rehabilitation of Menlo Park, which had one or two cases.)

9. NE Portland (97211): 23.5% (ZIP code includes Marquis Piedmont Assisted Living and Fernhill Estates. Both facilities had one or two cases.)

10. Eugene (97401*): 22.2% increase

*97862 is in a tie with 97401, with the exact numbers and increase. 97862 is in the Milton-Freewater area of northeastern Oregon.

This article was originally published by The Oregonian/Oregon Live, one of more than a dozen news organizations throughout the state sharing their coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak to help inform Oregonians about this evolving health issue.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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