The Oregon Health Authority today reported nine deaths from COVID-19, the largest death toll on a single day since the pandemic began.
Over the past seven days, the state reported 28 Oregonians killed by the virus. That's as deadly a week as any since COVID-19 arrived in Oregon in March. It suggests that fatalities from the disease are following close behind the coronavirus's resurgence, which began in June.
The Oregon Health Authority also reported another 396 new COVID cases. The positivity rate on tests in the past week was 6.6%, a new high.
Health officials released these numbers at a press conference this morning where they expressed cautious optimism that Gov. Kate Brown's increased requirements for face masks and social distancing were cutting into the virus's spread.
State epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger said state models showed infections could decline over the next two weeks, or spike further to as many as 3,900 new cases a day by mid-August.
"These projections show that we're at a real turning point," Sidelinger said. "We can start to see infections drop again if we reduce transmission. Alternatively, we can see a scenario where things get worse: Like prior models showed, cases would keep surging and we would rapidly run out of capacity to treat people who become seriously ill. Let's work together to put the virus on a path to fade out."