UPDATE (2:24 p.m. Pacific Time) – The state of Oregon and local health authorities reported 90 new known cases of new coronavirus Thursday afternoon, bringing the state total to 826.
The OHA also announced two additional deaths on Thursday. The state now has 21 known deaths from the virus.
The two new deaths are a 61-year-old man in Washington County and a 91-year-old woman in Marion County. The two had underlying medical conditions, said the OHA.
Washington nears 6,000 cases
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Clark County is 131 and eight people have died from COVID-19, according to public health officials.
Clark County Public Health on Thursday announced a new positive case and two new known deaths.
Washington had 5,984 diagnosed cases of coronavirus and 247 related deaths as of Tuesday evening, according to the Washington Department of Health. Technical difficulties due to the growing number of negative test results have slowed state reporting.
Unemployment claims in Oregon continue to rise
The Oregon employment department announced on Thursday that it had received 92,700 initial unemployment insurance claims during the week of March 22.
This is a 21% increase from the previous week when the Oregonians filed more than 76,000 claims. By comparison, the department received fewer than 5,000 requests during the week of March 8.
Oregon to Receive New Test Devices
The Oregon Health Authority will receive a shipment of 15 rapid coronavirus testing devices from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, according to the Oregon COVID-19 Joint Information Center.
The test device is called Abbot ID NOW, a recently FDA approved device that can detect coronaviruses in as little as five minutes for positive results and 13 minutes for negative results, the center said.
The OHA will determine where to send the devices based on test priorities. It is not yet known when OHA will receive the devices.
Oregon health officials don’t discourage mask use
Dr. Jennifer Vines, regional health officer for the three counties, said in a media call on Thursday that she does not discourage Oregonians from wearing masks, although there is no scientific data available. whether or not they help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“We do not discourage people who want to use some sort of nose or mouth blanket while they are away,” said Vines. “I don’t think we actively recommend it. There isn’t much science that helps. “
Vines said she and other health officials are awaiting advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to a Washington Post article, the White House should encourage Americans to start wearing cloth masks or other types of face coverings.
Vines said that no matter what the mask is used for, she reminds people to keep practicing social distance and to stay at least six feet from others.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown Bans Commercial Evictions
Brown announced an emergency order on Wednesday that commercial tenants who provide proof that they cannot afford rent due to the pandemic cannot be formally evicted but must make partial payments, if possible.
Brown also tightened up a March 22 order prohibiting evictions for non-payment. It guarantees that landlords cannot initiate eviction proceedings against tenants or charge late fees if a tenant cannot pay due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Before it was strengthened, the order prohibited law enforcement officers in Oregon from enforcing the evictions, but that did not stop the owners from initiating formal proceedings.
Portland leaders call for rent and mortgage waivers
A letter sent Wednesday by Portland City Council to state and federal officials underscores the city leaders’ call to suspend all rent and mortgage payments for tenants and business owners who are suffering in due to COVID-19.
Currently, under the Multnomah County eviction moratorium, tenants who are suffering financially during the pandemic can delay paying their rent, but they will still have to repay it six months after the state of emergency ends. coronavirus.