Oregon reported 1,122 new COVID-19 cases today, a record and the first time cases have surpassed a thousand in a single day.
Multnomah County also hit a record—351 cases—the first time the county hit more than 300 in a single day.
A week ago, the state's most populous county, which includes Portland, had never exceeded 200 cases in a single day. But the week of Nov. 1 through 7 saw the per capita rate of COVID-19 in Multnomah County more than double from its rate in mid-October. At least 153 people per 100,000 in the county last week had COVID, compared to 74 per 100,000 the week of Oct. 18.
In its announcement of the new numbers, the Oregon Health Authority continued to blame private house parties and extended family gatherings for the preponderance of the virus's spread. "Small social gatherings continue to act as a catalyst for COVID-19 transmission," the agency wrote. "For example, a portion of this week's rising cases can be attributed to at least five Halloween events, from small social gatherings to a party attended by more than 100 people."
Gov. Kate Brown has announced a relatively modest "two-week pause" in nine counties, beginning today, that allows no more than 50 people to gather in commercial establishments and no more than six in individual homes.
The governor has asked for much of the fall that Oregonians refrain from attending parties during the holidays, in order to keep businesses open through the winter. Those pleas appear to have been ignored.
Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury today asked residents to avoid any social function.
"We have been anticipating a spike in cases as the rain and lower temperatures that accompany fall weather force many social activities to move indoors," Kafoury said in a statement. "That spike has officially arrived."