Pandemic Update

Health authorities continue to stress that slowing the pandemic means everyone should be washing their hands frequently, practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings when out in public.

Both Columbia County and the State of Oregon reported their highest new daily case counts today, Nov. 20.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 in Columbia County. The previous record total was 14, which was set yesterday, Nov. 19.

Cases are surging within the county and across the state. Oregon reported 1,306 new cases in the state and four new deaths. The total number of cases within Oregon is 62,175 with a death toll of 812.

In a briefing with the Columbia County Board of Commissioners, county Public Health Director Michael Paul urged residents to heed health recommendations and keep physical distance from people outside of their households. 

"It's not too late for people to cancel their holiday plans if they were planning to gather," Paul said. 

The contact tracers in the county have become overwhelmed by the spike of cases and are unable to keep up with every new case, he said. Some people who test positive are being asked to reach out to their contacts themselves to have them quarantine. 

"We're in a surge. It's here in our county," Paul said. "Avoid gatherings over the holidays. We need to get our kids back in school."

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (8), Benton (15), Clackamas (78), Clatsop (9), Columbia (20), Coos (8), Crook (2), Curry (5), Deschutes (60), Douglas (39), Grant (27), Harney (4), Hood River (3), Jackson (84), Jefferson (11), Josephine (18), Klamath (39), Lake (3), Lane (91), Lincoln (7), Linn (27), Malheur (23), Marion (112), Morrow (3), Multnomah (337), Polk (21), Tillamook (2), Umatilla (45), Union (17), Wasco (13), Washington (155), and Yamhill (20).

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