8 new cases in mid-valley
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8 new cases in mid-valley

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Eight new cases of COVID-19 cropped up in the mid-valley on Thursday on a day when the Oregon Health Authority reported 124 confirmed and suspected cases statewide and urged Oregonians to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces.

Benton County announced six new cases of the disease, bringing its total to 76 with five deaths since the coronavirus pandemic began. Linn County has two new cases for a total of 132 with nine deaths.

Oregon has now recorded 7,568 total cases and 197 deaths, including two fatalities announced on Thursday: an 83-year-old woman and an 83-year-old man, both in Marion County and both with underlying health conditions.

Multnomah had the most new cases of any Oregon county on Thursday with 29, followed by Washington with 24, Klamath with 13, Union with 10 and 15 counties in single digits.

Reports of new COVID-19 cases across the state have risen in each of the last four weeks, moving in parallel with a loosening of restrictions on business operations and stay-at-home guidelines in most Oregon counties.

On Thursday, OHA announced tougher guidelines on face coverings in public. The agency issued a “strong recommendation” that “individuals, including children between the ages of 2 and 12 years of age, wear a mask, face shield or face covering at all times in all indoor public places, particularly in places where it is likely that physical distancing of at least 6 feet from other individuals outside their household unit cannot be maintained and vulnerable people must go.”

The Benton County Board of Commissioners issued a similar recommendation the same day but went even further than the state, urging residents to wear masks in both indoor and outdoor public spaces.

The mid-valley’s only active workplace outbreak held steady from last week, according to a weekly update from OHA released on Wednesday. Regent Court Senior Living, a 48-bed memory care facility in Corvallis, was still listed as having five cases and no deaths from the disease. The facility previously stated that four residents and one staff member had tested positive.

Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis is treating 11 COVID-19 patients, according to this week’s update from OHA. Samaritan’s hospitals in Lebanon, Newport and Lincoln City have between one and nine cases apiece, while there are currently no coronavirus patients at Samaritan Albany General.

ZIP code data compiled by OHA shows that Albany has the most COVID-19 cases of any mid-valley city with 76, followed by Corvallis with 56 and Lebanon with 41. (The Corvallis figure is actually somewhat higher: the 97331 ZIP code, which covers the Oregon State University campus, is listed as having between one and nine cases.)

ZIP codes covering Brownsville, Halsey, Jefferson, Philomath, Scio, Sweet Home, Tangent and Harrisburg show between one and nine cases each, according to OHA, while Alsea and Monroe have no cases.

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