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Multnomah, Marion and Hood River were added to the list due to coronavirus spread that cannot be traced to a source.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Multnomah County has been added to a watch list of counties with troublesome COVID-19 statistics. Oregon Health Authority reported 416 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths due to the virus on Thursday, July 30. Oregon has now reported a total of 18,131 confirmed coronavirus cases and 316 deaths.

Multnomah County also has been added to the coronavirus "watch list," Gov. Kate Brown announced Thursday, 30 as the coronavirus spreads within the county.

The new cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (3), Benton (7), Clackamas (22), Clatsop (2), Columbia (3), Coos (4), Crook (2), Deschutes (15), Douglas (2), Hood River (5), Jackson (10), Jefferson (12), Klamath (1), Lake (1), Lane (10), Lincoln (2), Linn (4), Malheur (18), Marion (38), Morrow (9), Multnomah (61), Polk (7), Umatilla (101), Union (1), Wasco (2), Washington (63), and Yamhill (11).

Umatilla's high reported case count is due to a delay in processing electronic laboratory reports, according to the state report.

The Oregon Health Authority included the following information about the five deaths in Thursday's announcement. All had underlying conditions:

• A 78-year-old man in Umatilla County who tested positive on July 10 and died on July 28 at Good Samaritan Health Care Center in Yakima, Washington.

• An 85-year-old man in Multnomah County who tested positive on July 15 and died on July 27 at Providence Portland Medical Center.

• A 68-year-old woman in Umatilla County who tested positive on July 10 and died on July 28 at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Washington.

• A 66-year-old man in Multnomah County who tested positive on July 18 and died on July 26 at Portland Adventist Medical Center.

• An 82-year-old man in Multnomah County who tested positive on July 4 and died on July 23 at Providence Portland Medical Center.

According to the announcement, the Oregon Health Authority incorrectly reported an increase in cases for the week of Monday, July 20, through Sunday, July 26, over the previous week in its weekly report. Cases actually declined to 2,241 from 2,409, a drop of about 7%.

Multnomah added to watch list

Hood River and Marion counties joined Multnomah county on the watch list Thursday, according to the governor's office. Nearly two-thirds of cases in Multnomah are not traced to a source, according to media reports.

Meanwhile, Lincoln and Union have been removed from the list.

Brown applauded Lincoln and Union for slowing the spread of the coronavirus. "This is also a good reminder to all Oregonians — especially to those who live in Watch List counties — of the importance of remaining vigilant," Brown said. "I urge all Oregonians to keep practicing physical distancing, wearing face coverings and practicing good hygiene. Your choices matter, and we are truly all in this together."

The watch list allows the state government to prioritize resources where they are most needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. According to the press release, the Oregon Health Authority increases monitoring of counties on the watch list and sends more resources, such as epidemiological support and help with case investigations and contact tracing.

Counties are added to the watch list when the coronavirus is spreading quickly within the county and cases are sporadic — meaning they can't be traced to a source, indicating community spread, according to the press release. Counties will be added to the list if they have a sporadic case rate of 50 or more cases per 100,000 people and more than five sporadic cases in the last two weeks, among other metrics.

According to the release, counties stay on the watch list for at least three weeks once added "until their sporadic case rates drop below these thresholds."

The complete watch list now includes 10 counties: Baker, Hood River, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Umatilla and Wasco.

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