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The number of new cases is dipping because fewer people are getting tested, state health officials said.

PMG GRAPHIC - COVID-19 testing is dipping because fewer people are being tested.Wildfires and hazardous air conditions may have caused new COVID-19 cases to dip during the past several days because fewer people could be seeking tests, the Oregon Health Authority said Monday.

"This is a lagging data point as tests are often reported several days after specimen collection. However, due to widespread hazardous conditions, people seeking testing may have declined," state health officials said when they announced a relatively low 151 new and confirmed cases on Sept. 14.

The new figures, which were well below the 185 new cases reported on Sunday, increase the state total to 29,484.

The OHA also announced that two more Oregonans have died of the virus, bringing the death toll to 511.

State health officials also said the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory was closed Monday due to indoor air quality being too hazardous to safely use appropriate air safety equipment, including hoods. No specimens were being accepted or tested. Specimens already received at the lab are being held at appropriate temperatures pending testing. It will reopen as soon as air safety standards can be met.

The new cases reported Monday are in the following counties: Clackamas (18), Columbia (1), Coos (1), Deschutes (3), Douglas (3), Jackson (4), Jefferson (1), Klamath (1), Lane (19), Malheur (13), Marion (11), Morrow (2), Multnomah (27), Polk (1), Umatilla (23), Union (1), Wasco (1), Washington (18), and Yamhill (3).

Oregon's 510th COVID-19 death is an 87-year-old man in Lane County who tested positive on Sept. 1 and died on Sept. 13, in his residence. He had underlying conditions.

Oregon's 511th COVID-19 death is a 92-year-old woman in Washington County who tested positive on Aug. 20. More details about her death are pending. She had underlying conditions.

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