Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has added Multnomah County to the state's Watch List of counties with a high number of new coronavirus cases—and a significant number that cannot be traced to a previous case.
Also added to the list were Hood River and Marion counties. The state's official Watch List is used to prioritize resources, including sending assistance with contact tracing.
“This is also a good reminder to all Oregonians—especially to those who live in Watch List counties—of the importance of remaining vigilant,” said Gov. Brown in a statement. “I urge all Oregonians to keep practicing physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and practicing good hygiene. Your choices matter, and we are truly all in this together.”
Counties are put on the Watch List when 50 or more new cases per 100,000 people in the previous two weeks can't be traced to another case.
In Multnomah County, just 68% of cases received a contact tracing call within 24 hours for the week ending July 25. The state benchmark is 95% or more.
Ten counties are now on the Watch List: Baker, Hood River, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Umatilla, and Wasco. Lincoln and Union counties were removed from the list today.
But there is good news in the Oregon Health Authority's weekly report. The number of new cases in Multnomah County declined 24%, as the number of cases statewide declined 9% during the same week. (Positivity for COVID-19 tests—the percentage coming back positive for the virus—also declined for the county to 4.4%, which was the same for the state overall.)
Today's statewide daily case count was 414 cases, with 101 of those in Umatilla County. The Oregon Health Authority says the large count in that county seems to be due to an electronic delay in reporting cases. Multnomah County had 61 cases.