Molalla has the highest rate of COVID-19 infection per capita in Clackamas County.
According to the Oregon Health Authority's weekly report on Wednesday, May 27, Molalla had 32 cases of COVID-19. That is 21.2 cases per 10,000 people.
The city with the next highest rate in the county is neighboring Canby, which has 30 cases, according to the report. That is 13.2 cases per 10,000 people. Oregon City has 24 cases, which is 4.7 cases per 10,000 people.
The only Clackamas County city with a higher number of cases than Molalla is Milwaukie with 37 cases; but with the higher population, the infection rate remains lower than Molalla's at just 10.6 cases per 10,000 people.
Molalla's infection rate may be due to the high number of residents who commute to Portland, where COVID-19 is more prevalent.
Jarrod Lyman, spokesperson for the Clackamas County Emergency Operations Center, confirmed most cases in Molalla are from household exposure from people working in positions that cannot be done from home. He said most have been in the grocery, health care or construction industries.
"The biggest thing everyone can do is to continue with the precautionary measures," Lyman said. "When people go out, they should wear face coverings indoors or outdoors when physical distancing isn't possible. Frequent handwashing, along with cleaning and disinfecting measures around the home, can also help prevent the spread."
Even having the highest rate in the county though, the infection rate in Molalla remains fairly minimal. The 21.2 cases per 10,000 people amounts to an infection rate of just 0.21% of residents.
Other areas in Oregon have been hit harder by COVID-19, especially nearby Gervais, Hubbard and Woodburn.
The report shows the Gervais area has 46 cases or 120.6 cases per 10,000 people. This amounts to 1.2% of the population in that area, which is by far the highest rate of infection in the entire state. The Hubbard area has 24 cases or 47.6 cases per 10,000 people and Woodburn has 202 cases or 70.1 cases per 10,000 people.
With the counties having moved into phase one of reopening, Clackamas County continues to caution its residents.
"As things open up, the risk for exposure to COVID-19 increases," said another of the county's coronavirus spokespersons, Todd Loggan. "It's more important than ever to continue following the Oregon Health Authority's recommendations.
"We're all in this together," he said.
OHA's recommendations include staying home if you are sick, limiting ventures outside the home to essential activities, and taking precautions when leaving home such as maintaining 6-foot distancing, washing hands after contact with surfaces, avoiding groups, wearing a cloth face covering and more. The flyer with the complete list of recommendations can be found here.
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