Oregon tops 15,000 coronavirus cases, new Walmart outbreak
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority has reported 299 additional confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases in the state, bringing the state’s total number of cases since the pandemic began to more than 15,000.
In addition on Tuesday seven more deaths were reported, bringing the state’s death toll to 269 people. That ties the state’s record for the most deaths reported in a single day, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Oregon’s total number of coronavirus cases is now 15,139.
The authority also said an outbreak of 23 cases of COVID-19 has been reported at a Walmart Distribution Center in northeastern Oregon’s Umatilla County. The case count includes every person linked to the outbreak, which officials said may include household members and other close contacts to an employee.
The investigation started June 30, but the initial case count was below the threshold for public disclosure, officials said. State and county public health officials are working jointly to address the outbreak and protect workers’ health. The rural county had the state’s largest amount of cases per capita as of last week.
Additionally, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs has started a two-week quarantine to slow the spread of the coronavirus on the reservation, following a spike in cases, The Bulletin reported.
“On Aug. 3 we will review the situation again,” said Louie Pitt Jr., the Warm Springs director of government affairs and planning. “The COVID team will sit down and see if the trends are getting better, even if they are, we may still stay closed for another week or more.”
Warm Springs, with a population of around 5,000 people, has had 120 positive cases of COVID-19 as of July 17. Seventeen of the new cases occurred last week. Warm Springs is in Jefferson County, which is one of eight counties on Gov. Kate Brown’s watchlist for COVID-19 cases. Counties on the watchlist are receiving additional assistance from the state to help control the spread of the virus, including the deployment of more contact tracers.
For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.