550 new virus cases, Oregon’s largest daily total to date

Coronavirus Covid 19

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority reported 550 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, the state’s largest daily total since the the start of the pandemic.

The previous record, which also occurred in the month of October, was 484. Officials called Friday’s record-breaking number of new cases in the state “a reminder that Oregonians cannot let their guards down.”

The total amount of COVID-19 cases in Oregon, since the start of the pandemic, is 41,348. The death toll is 649.

For six weeks, Oregon’s COVID-19 cases were in a downward trend until mid-September. Since then, officials warned that numbers were again increasing at an alarming rate.

During October, Oregon has reached grim COVID-19 milestones including the state’s largest daily case count since the start of the pandemic, surpassed 600 deaths and reached 40,000 confirmed cases.

For months health officials have urged Oregonians to continue to follow the statewide implemented safety measures.

As cases continued to rise this month the health authority again expanded face covering requirements to include all private and public workplaces, including classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, work spaces, outdoor markets, street fairs, private career schools and public and private colleges and universities.

“We all need to aggressively adhere to the face covering guidance and always wear a mask,” said Shimi Sharief, the Oregon Health Authority senior health advisor. “We know everyone is tired and we all wish this would go away, but the reality is this disease is spreading in Oregon and it’s on all of us to protect ourselves and each other.”

Officials have attributed the rise in cases to Labor Day gatherings, the return of college students to campus and the interruption of testing during recent wildfires in Oregon.