242 new COVID-19 cases and 1 death, as Oregon officials anxiously watch disease’s spread – OregonLive

Oregon officials on Sunday reported 242 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death, bringing the total number of known cases in the state to 32,820 and the number of coronavirus-related deaths to 547.

Sunday’s new case count is lower than notably high numbers announced on other days this past week, including 328 on Tuesday, 382 on Thursday and the new record of 457 on Friday. The surge helped drive the rolling seven-day average for new infections up by about 33% in the past week.

The rolling seven-day average for deaths jumped about 15% from the previous week.

Officials with the Oregon Health Authority said Friday that they think the virus is transmitting more rapidly in the state because of Labor Day weekend gatherings that disregarded social distancing rules; wildfire evacuees who’ve been exposed to the virus while they are displaced; and people, especially college-aged students, who’ve been meeting up indoors and without masks for parties or other get-togethers.

Nationwide, new infections are increasing, too. The rolling seven-day average of new cases is up more than 4% but deaths, which often lag weeks after freshly diagnosed cases, are down about 4%.

New cases statewide: The Oregon Health Authority reported new cases in the following counties: Benton (1), Clackamas (10), Clatsop (8), Columbia (6), Coos (1), Deschutes (15), Douglas (5), Grant (1), Jackson (9), Jefferson (5), Lake (1), Lane (24), Lincoln (1), Linn (3), Malheur (10), Marion (26), Morrow (1), Multnomah (72), Polk (1), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (14), Wallowa (1), Wasco (3), Washington (23).

Last week, Multnomah County saw a 26% jump in new infections. The 352 new cases identified amounted to the highest total per week in the seven most recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Lane County has seen an explosion of new infections, with 251 cases reported by the Oregon Health Authority last week. That’s almost an 80% increase from the previous week, and a record for the county.

Death toll: The 547th person reported to have died from COVID-19 in Oregon was an 81-year-old woman from Multnomah County. She tested positive Wednesday and died Saturday at Providence Portland Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.

Prison death: The Oregon Department of Corrections also reported an additional coronavirus death of an inmate between 65 and 75 years old at the Snake River Correctional Institution on Sunday. That person’s death isn’t reflected in the state’s overall death count, but should be in future days.

Nine inmates have died because of COVID-19 and more than 950 inmates and 250 prison staff are known to have been infected since the pandemic began, according to prison statistics. There are about 14,000 inmates in the state’s prison system.

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— Aimee Green; agreen@oregonian.com; @o_aimee