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Daily report for April 3: Oregon authorities caution against reliance on fabric masks as cases inch toward 900

COURTESY PHOTO: KRISTYNA WENTZ-GRAFF, OHSU - Oregon Health & Science University's drive-through testing site at the Gordon Farber Recreation Center in Hillsboro, March 24. 

, Portland Tribune - News Here's what you need to know as of today about the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Your COVID-19 primer for Wednesday, April 1Another person has died and 73 more people have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Oregon Health Authority reported the new cases Friday, April 3.

According to OHA, 22 people have now died from the respiratory disease since February.

Since the state began testing, it has recorded 899 positive cases out of 17,434 people tested. Washington County still has the majority of COVID-19 cases, with 17 new ones reported as of Friday morning and 228 cases total, followed by Marion and Multnomah counties, with 178 and 175 cases, respectively.

As the number of cases across the U.S. continues to rise, federal officials weighed whether to advise Americans to wear face masks when out in public, in an attempt to prevent the spread of infection to others.

OHA cautioned Oregon residents against relying on medical-grade masks that are in short supply for critical healthcare workers.

"We continue to stress that medical masks are essential for health care workers who are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19," said Dr. Paul Cieslak, OHA's medical director for communicable diseases. "We need to preserve supplies of medical masks for our health care workers so they can stay safe as they work to keep all of us healthy. For the general public, homemade fabric masks, especially if well-made and well-fitting, may provide some benefit."

Oregon health authorities say a fabric mask may help prevent an infected person from spreading the virus to others, especially if someone has a cough, and may prevent infectious droplets from spreading, but emphasized that staying home is the best method to avoid getting sick or infecting others.

Here's a breakdown of where the new cases are, by county:

Benton (2), Clackamas (5), Clatsop (1), Crook (1), Deschutes (4), Klamath (5), Malheur (1), Marion (14), Morrow (1), Multnomah (15), Polk (2), Washington (17), Yamhill (5).


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