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Columbia County has a total of 144 COVID-19 cases, according to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) as of Monday, Sept. 14. The county recorded its first and only pandemic related death in early August.

COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 511 and the OHA also reported 151 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of Sept. 14, bringing the state total to 29,484.

COVID-19 Update

Columbia County Public Health Director Michael Paul is urging residents to continue to protect themselves, those in their household and fellow community members by wearing face coverings, practice physical distancing, avoid large gatherings, and wash hands frequently.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (18), Columbia (1), Coos (1), Deschutes (3), Douglas (3), Jackson (4), Jefferson (1), Klamath (1), Lane (19), Malheur (13), Marion (11), Morrow (2), Multnomah (27), Polk (1), Umatilla (23), Union (1), Wasco (1), Washington (18), and Yamhill (3).

Wildfires and hazardous air conditions have affected COVID-19 testing in Oregon, the OHA said in a statement on Sept. 14. Over the past several days statewide testing numbers appear to have dipped. This is a lagging data point as tests are often reported several days after specimen collection. However, due to widespread hazardous conditions, people seeking testing may have declined. OHA will continue to monitor the situation.

The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL) was closed Monday, Sept. 14, due to indoor air quality which is too hazardous to safely use appropriate air safety equipment including hoods.

No specimens will be accepted or tested. Specimens already received at OSPHL are being held at appropriate temperatures pending testing. OSPHL will reopen as soon as air safety standards can be met.

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