SALEM — The Oregon Health Authority’s latest coronavirus projections predict that, based on the current rate of cases, the state will have 1,600 new confirmed infections a day by mid-August.

In a more “pessimistic” model, officials said if transmission increases by 10 percentage points from the current rates, there could be 2,300 new daily confirmed infections and 46 hospitalizations a day.

In the month of July, Oregon has averaged about 315 cases per day. On Thursday, officials reported 331 new cases and two deaths, raising the state’s total case count to 15,713. The death toll is 273.

Oregon health officials have described the increase as troubling and concerning.

During the past month, Gov. Kate Brown has implemented new statewide COVID-19 safety measures and mandates to slow the spread of the virus.

Last week Brown instituted a ban on indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people and required people to wear masks both at indoor public spaces and outside, when they can not maintain physical distancing.

On Wednesday Brown expanded the face covering mandate to anyone five years or older. The governor also decreased the capacity of venues, including churches, restaurants and movie theaters, from 250 people to 100 people.

“Oregon, we carefully ventured out onto the ice together, but it has begun to crack,” Brown said Wednesday. “COVID-19 is spreading too quickly, particularly in parts of rural Oregon. Before we fall through the ice, it’s time to take a step back with new rules to help slow the spread of this disease.”

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.

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If an outbreak occurs at a workplace but is not announced to the public, workers and customers may unknowingly patronize that business and become exposed to the virus. This possible threat to health and safety, and the knowledge that one or two serious outbreaks could overwhelm our hospitals behooves improved transparency by Douglas County Commissioners.

“Recognizing the critical need for transparency during a pandemic, the Oregon Health Authority in late May started to publicly report workplace outbreaks that involve five or more cases.” The same should apply to our Douglas County Commissioners.


Douglas County Commissioners knew about Norris Blueberry Farm workplace outbreak spiraling out of control for over a week and didn’t say ANYTHING. According to the Oregon Health Authority weekly report (below link), the investigation of Norris Blueberry Farm by Douglas County Public Health Network began on JUNE 25, nearly a month ago when their first two coronavirus cases were confirmed. Norris Blueberry Farm then confirmed seven more cases by July 15.

Our County Commissioners only announced the outbreak at Norris Blueberry Farm on July 22 after realizing the OHA was publishing a report that day declaring Norris Blueberry Farm an outbreak. By that time the outbreak had spread to 22 cases that we know of and probably a lot more.

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