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Oregon: Latest updates on COVID-19

An image of Portland's skyline with Mt. Hood in the background
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Last updated May 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Oregon has confirmed 3,479 cases of COVID-19 as of May 14. A total of 86,679 people have been tested, according to the state's health department. On the list of states with the most U.S. coronavirus cases, Oregon's confirmed numbers put them in the lower half of states impacted by the disease. At least 163 people are currently hospitalized with the virus in the state and 17 patients are currently on ventilators.

The state reported on April 22 that at least 595 people with coronavirus in Oregon have recovered, OregonLive reported.

Thirty-two cases are in people under the age of nine, 113 are in those age 10 to 19, 498 are in 20- to 29-year-olds, 596 are in 30- to 39-year-olds, 597 are in 40- to 49-year-olds, 602 are in 50- to 59-year-olds, 487 are in 60- to 69-year-olds, 321 are in 70- to 70-year-olds, and 221 are in people older than 80. 

The state has seen 137 deaths from the coronavirus. According to the Oregon Health Authority, the first individual was a 70-year-old man who died on Saturday (March 14) in Multnomah county. On April 5, OregonLive reported that the individual was Southeast Portland resident Lynn Bryan, a veteran and country-western dance instructor. 

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Oregon’s Hispanic population, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. About 22% of Oregonians who have tested positive for the coronavirus are Hispanic, compared to 13% for the overall state population.

Several cases have been linked to medical facilities. A Kaiser Westside pharmacy in Hillsboro closed on Monday (April 6) after seven staffers tested positive, Oregon Live reported. An Oregon State Hospital employee has also tested positive.

There have been at least 34 outbreaks of the disease at senior care facilities as of April 9. At least 15 cases are linked to the Edward C. Allworth Veterans' Home in Lebanon, in Linn County, where half of those infected are over the age of 90, according to Oregon Live. On March 31, the news organization reported that cases have been found in 29 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in the state. The worst outbreak as of April 3 was at Laurelhurst Village in Southeast Portland, where 14 residents and 15 employees were confirmed to have COVID-19, according to OregonLive. The news organization reported on April 11 that at least 24 of the state’s coronavirus deaths were linked to senior care facilities. At least 10 homes for adults with developmental disabilities have also experienced outbreaks.

On May 13, a child in Portland was being treated for a pediatric inflammatory syndrome that has been linked to some rare cases of coronavirus in children, OregonLive reported.

On May 14, there were 191 available adult ICU beds and 784 available ventilators in Oregon, according to the Oregon Health Authority. 

Details on Oregon’s plan for a potential reopening were released May 7, with adaptations to the coronavirus including mask-wearing and restrictions on the size of gatherings to 25 or less. On May 1, the state released information on its plan to expand testing and contact tracing by hiring 600 people to perform contact tracing and expanding testing capacity to 15,000 per week. 

A Harvard University study released May 7 found that Oregon’s testing capacity is near what is needed to safely lift some social distancing measures, and that the percent positive tests returned in the last week was 3.5%, well under the 10% or less recommended for reopening.

Timeline of coronavirus controls in Oregon

  • May 14: Twenty-eight Oregon counties and all retail stores statewide can reopen beginning Friday, May 15, as long as they meet social distancing regulations, State Gov. Kate Brown announced.
  • May 1: State Gov. Kate Brown extended Oregon’s state of emergency to July 6.
  • April 29: Portland announced plans to close some city streets to vehicles to allow more space for pedestrians to social distance after the state lifts its stay-at-home order, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
  • April 28: Washington State Parks announced that most state parks would reopen May 5 for day use only.
  • April 21: A draft of Oregon’s reopening plan became public, with the document available on OregonLive.
  • April 8: Oregon school closures were extended to last the rest of the academic year, OregonLive reported.
  • March 29: The Trump administration approved a Major Disaster declaration for Oregon, releasing new options for federal aid to the state, OregonLive reported.
  • March 28: The state announced that customers would be allowed to pump their own gas until at least April 11, a controversial decision in a state where self-service is typically limited, OregonLive reported.
  • March 23: Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued a statewide stay-at-home order on Monday (March 23), prohibiting citizens from congregating in public or at businesses unless for essential activities such as grocery shopping. Some playgrounds and other outdoor recreation facilities, including campgrounds, will be closed, the Lebanon Express reported.
  • March 18: Oregon school closures are extended until at least April 28.
  • March 17: Oregon restricted visitors to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).
  • March 16: The governor banned public gatherings of more than 25 people for at least a month and ordered restaurants and bars to end dine-in services.
  • March 14: State ski areas begin closing, according to OPB
  • March 11: Brown orders all K-12 schools to close through at least the end of March. Oregon universities begin moving to online classes. 
  • March 8: Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency in Oregon.

More Oregon coronavirus news

Following business closures, Oregon has seen a surge in unemployment claims. The state saw 23,000 new claims last week, OregonLive reported. On April 1, Gov. Brown ordered a 90-day moratorium on commercial evictions to help small-business owners who may not make rent. This followed a March 22 order preventing law enforcement from evicting tenants who could not pay rent. On April 9, OregonLive reported that 1 out of 8 Oregon workers had lost their jobs in the past three weeks. As of May 14, a total of 396,000 people in Oregon had filed claims for unemployment since pandemic closures started, the Statesman-Journal reported.

On Tuesday, April 14, Oregon Governor Kate Brown released a framework for reopening businesses and lifting Oregon’s stay-at-home order, saying the lift could come after the growth rate of active COVID-19 cases declined, and after hospitals had sufficient personal protective equipment and surge capacity, as well as increased testing capacity and ways to protect vulnerable populations.  

Coronavirus cases (and deaths) by Oregon county

  • Baker: 1
  • Benton: 50 (5 deaths)
  • Clackamas: 271 (9 deaths)
  • Clatsop: 36
  • Columbia: 16
  • Coos: 30
  • Crook: 1
  • Curry: 4
  • Deschutes: 91
  • Douglas: 24
  • Grant: 1
  • Harney: 1
  • Hood River: 14
  • Jackson: 50
  • Jefferson: 24
  • Josephine: 25 (1 death)
  • Klamath: 41
  • Lane: 61 (2 deaths)
  • Lincoln: 6
  • Linn: 107 (8 deaths)
  • Malheur: 16
  • Marion: 779 (23 deaths)
  • Morrow: 12
  • Multnomah: 940 (55 deaths)
  • Polk: 91 (9 deaths)
  • Sherman: 1
  • Tillamook: 6
  • Umatilla: 88 (2 deaths)
  • Union: 4
  • Wallowa: 1
  • Wasco: 16 (1 death)
  • Washington: 616 (15 deaths)
  • Yamhill: 55 (7 deaths)

Coronavirus science and news

Originally published on Live Science. 

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  • Laura
    Low numbers =no testing. I am home sick in Portland and no possibility of testing at Kaiser Permanente. I was seen in emergency last Fri. Neg for influenza, chest x-ray, ekg, IV fluids. No test. Sent home to self-isolate and self-monitor.
    Reply
  • Mic LouZar
    I hope you get better soon. My prays go out to you and everyone who is sick. I am not sick but home to scared to leave only when I need to run and get my 70+ mother things at store and i have been staying away from her because i don't want to get sick and pass it to her. My 80+ father passed away in January not because of Coronavirus but Alzheimer's / dementia. I had Knee surgery Feb 14th so I have been down, because of that. Right now people are scared and I am one of those person not for me but to get sick and pass it to another. If I did this I could not live with my self. In 2011 I gave my 18 year old son a vehicle for graduation of high school and in 3 days of driving he was dead and that pretty much destroyed me. My heart goes out to all who have lost someone or are just scared as I am. All I can say please get well soon.
    Reply
  • Morecoffeeplease
    MCL, it sounds as though you’re doing all the right things, just the right way, exactly the way all of us should. Very wise of you to keep your distance from your mother too! I hope we can all keep on being as smart about it as you are, and that we don’t get careless. Good work!
    Reply
  • johncasagranda
    Hello, Stephanie Pappas. Very helpful article. Is there a way to access the older versions of this article, like from 03/30, 03/29, so forth. I want to compare today's numbers with the previous ones. Also, would like to see how did the Chinese Wuhan coronavirus affected Oregonian lives specifically? Thank you.
    Reply
  • PNWChicagoan
    johncasagranda said:
    Hello, Stephanie Pappas. Very helpful article. Is there a way to access the older versions of this article, like from 03/30, 03/29, so forth. I want to compare today's numbers with the previous ones. Also, would like to see how did the Chinese Wuhan coronavirus affected Oregonian lives specifically? Thank you.
    Hey johncasagranda, you can get historical Coronavirus stats for Oregon here: https://covidtracking.com/data/state/oregon#historical
    Also, it appears that the prefix 'Chinese' is falling out of favor. Just FYI.
    Reply
  • Lee Barker
    It would be helpful if you started with the complete list of counties. Even if there are zero cases in a given county, that information is still of value. Thanks kindly.
    Reply