Columbia County's cases of COVID-19 have risen to 29 with no deaths associated with the virus as of June 28, according to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
The state’s death toll from COVID-19 remains at 202, and the OHA reported 247 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 8,341.
The new cases are in the following counties: Clackamas (18), Clatsop (1), Columbia (1), Deschutes (8), Jackson (9), Jefferson (3), Josephine (1), Lane (3), Lincoln (3), Malheur (11), Marion (43), Morrow (8), Multnomah (52), Polk (3), Umatilla (48), Union (2), Wasco (3), Washington (29), Yamhill (1).
Over the past several days there has been a significant increase in the virus cases. Governor Kate Brown called the increase extremely alarming. Brown said the state may have to order bars, restaurants and other businesses to shut down again if the rise in cases continues.
Columbia County Health officials told The Chronicle in an earlier published article that because of Columbia County’s comparably low rate of COVID-19 cases, there may be public complacency. That is especially concerning, they said, because there is a large number of people, an estimated 70 percent, who regularly move back and forth between Columbia County and Washington and Multnomah counties, two of the areas with the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases.
“Our biggest fear is that people feel a false sense of security,” Columbia County Health Officer Joe Skariah said. “The virus does not recognize county or state lines. The hard part here is that there is no other way out of the situation. The only solution we have are masks, social distancing and good hygiene. These are important both for the citizen’s health and the public.”
Columbia County Community Health Nurse Supervisor Heather Bell continues to urge county residents and visitors to remain vigilant.
"It is important to understand that the risk is not behind us," Bell said.