UPDATE (1:03 p.m.) – Coronavirus diagnoses continue to climb in Oregon, with health officials reporting 191 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That brings the state’s total to 7,274 known cases.
The bulk of Tuesday’s new diagnoses come from the Portland metro area, with 44 new cases in Multnomah, 42 in Washington county and 25 in Clackamas counties.
Multnomah County health officials said Monday a majority of the spread is occurring among “close social networks.”
“It’s human nature, I think, to expect that the people that might be more risky to someone would be strangers,” said Kim Toevs, who leads the Multnomah County’s infectious disease team. “And the people they feel more safe (with), are the people they know – especially family and friends.”
Authorities say when people are around friends or family they may opt not to wear a mask or not practice physical distancing.
“Those are more likely the people to infect you, because they are going to be closer to you, in your personal space and, usually, you are going to be interacting with them for a longer period of time,” Toevs said.
OHA reported a new workplace outbreak at Lamb Weston in Umatilla County with 37 cases. Those cases include employees, household members and other close contacts.
While new infections are climbing, the death rate remains steady, with the state’s total at 192 deaths.
As of Tuesday, 184 people are hospitalized with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state, including 28 who are on ventilators. Coronavirus has led to the hospitalization of 983 people in Oregon over the course of the pandemic.
Mask rule takes effect Wednesday
A rule about wearing masks in public indoor spaces takes effect Wednesday in seven Oregon counties: Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Hood River, Lincoln, Marion and Polk. It applies to stores, public transportation and gyms, among other sites.
Clark County deaths reach 29
Health officials in Clark County, Washington reported 18 new confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases Monday. That brings the county’s total cases to 703. Public health officials also reported one new fatality, bringing the county’s total to 29 deaths.
The Washington Department of Health reported 28,870 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state and 1,270 known deaths. As of Monday, coronavirus has led to the hospitalization of 4,062 people in Washington.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.