550 new virus cases, Oregon’s largest daily total to date – Associated Press
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority reported 550 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, the state’s largest daily total since the the start of the pandemic.
Health officials called the number of cases “troubling” and said that based on current COVID-19 modeling in the state, if Oregon remains on the path it is now, the state could reach capacity in its hospitals by mid-December.
“While higher than any total we’ve reported to date, it’s nearly in line with the modeling estimates that we published last week, which showed that daily reported cases could rise into the high 400s, absent Oregonians redoubling their efforts to slow the spread,” said Shimi Sharief, the Oregon Health Authority senior health advisor.
The previous daily case count record in Oregon, which also occurred in the month of October, was 484. Officials called Friday’s record-breaking number of new cases in the state “a reminder that Oregonians cannot let their guards down.”
Sharief said health officials “remain cautious” about giving a single-day’s total “too much weight.”
“That said, we believe this increase is due to continued community transmission from social gatherings, as well as household clusters,” Sharief said.
Officials have attributed the rise in cases to Labor Day gatherings, the return of college students to campus, the interruption of testing during recent wildfires in Oregon and “small clusters” of outbreaks across the state.
State and health officials are already urging people