(Update: Adding weekly report, exposure notification technology test)
OHA announces new statewide wastewater monitoring project
PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 521, the Oregon Health Authority reported Wednesday.
OHA also reported 195 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, bringing the state total to 29,850 cases, along with 591,243 negative test results.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday are in the following counties: Benton (1), Clackamas (10), Clatsop (2), Coos (2), Deschutes (4), Douglas (2), Hood River (1), Jackson (15), Jefferson (5), Klamath (14), Lane (15), Linn (1), Malheur (17), Marion (23), Multnomah (32), Polk (3), Umatilla (2), Union (1), Wallowa (6), Wasco (2), Washington (33) and Yamhill (4).
Oregon’s 520th COVID-19 death is a 70-year-old man in Washington County who tested positive on July 9 and died on Sept. 8 at OHSU. He did not have underlying conditions.
Oregon’s 521st COVID-19 death is a 79-year-old man in Multnomah County who tested positive on Aug. 4 and died on Sept. 10 at his residence. He had underlying conditions.
OHA announces new COVID-19 wastewater monitoring project
OHA today announced it had launched a statewide COVID-19 wastewater monitoring project to study the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in more than 40 small- to medium-sized communities around the state.
The project, which will include weekly wastewater testing over the next 30 months, will enable epidemiologists to better understand the circulation of COVID-19 in some of Oregon’s communities. It will serve as an “early warning” system, to tell if COVID-19 is spreading silently in communities.
“This program holds promise to help us monitor COVID-19 in our communities,” said Melissa Sutton MD, MPH, Medical Director for Respiratory Viral Pathogens at OHA and a principal investigator for the wastewater study. “We look forward to our partnership with local communities and researchers. Together, we hope to better understand the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon.”
Much of the work will be carried out by Oregon State University researchers, along with local partners. Funding for this program comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
OHA’s Weekly Report Shows Declining Case Count Trend
Today’s Weekly Report showed that new cases in Oregon have continued to decline as 1,294 cases were recorded from Sept. 7-13 —down 12% from last week’s tally of 1,477. In that same period, the number of Oregonians newly tested declined 35%, to 17,365, and the percentage of tests that were positive rose from 4.3% to 5.6%. This decline in the number of Oregonians tested occurred during the context of numerous active wildfires. OHA is closely monitoring this situation.
Twenty-nine Oregonians were reported to have died last week in association with COVID-19, compared to 23 last week. Eighty-three Oregonians were hospitalized; and with 47 in the previous week, the reported number of Oregonians hospitalized with COVID-19 is the lowest for any two-week period since mid-June.
As in past weeks of declining case counts, OHA reminds Oregonians that it remains very important to continue to wear face coverings, practice physical distancing and avoid gatherings to sustain the progress the state has made.
Oregon joins Western States Pact in testing exposure notification technology
Governor Kate Brown announced today that Oregon has joined with Western States Pact members California, Washington, Colorado and Nevada in a pilot project to test COVID-19 exposure notification technology.
The pilot project will test the Exposure Notification Express mobile application developed by Google and Apple. For those who voluntarily choose to use the exposure notification technology, the app confidentially notifies individuals who may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus. Privacy and security are central to the design of the technology, which does not collect location data from any device and never shares user identities. Users must opt in to the technology.
“Knowledge is power when it comes to stopping the spread of COVID-19, and this pilot project will help people make informed decisions to keep themselves healthy, while still protecting individual privacy,” said Governor Brown. “COVID-19 knows no state borders, and my goal is to make sure, if more widely implemented, this exposure notification technology is made available to those communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this disease — Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Pacific Islander and Tribal communities, as well as those living in the rural parts of our states.”
Stay informed about COVID-19:
Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Office of Emergency Management lead the state response leads the state response.
United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.
Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.