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Health officials report two new deaths of people with COVID-19 as well as four workplace outbreaks of 20 or more people.

COURTESY PHOTO: CDC - The coronavirus spreads mainly through person-to-person contact and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC.State officials on Wednesday, Oct. 7, reported two additional deaths of people with COVID-19 as well as new workplace outbreaks in three counties.

The news comes even as the latest projections suggest that coronavirus in Oregon is spreading faster than before, wiping out gains made by Oregonians over a two-month span earlier this year.

The Oregon Health Authority is working with the four employers to contain the outbreaks, which include:

• New Season Foods, Inc., Washington County: The reported cases of COVID-19 at the Forest Grove company — which is not related to the more well-known New Seasons Market — have reached 20, a figure that includes "all persons linked to the outbreak, which may include household members and other close contacts to an employee," according to the agency.

• Oregon State Correctional Institution, Marion County: An outbreak of 41 cases of COVID-19 has been reported.

• Oregon State Hospital, Marion County: An outbreak there began in July and has grown to 20 cases.

•McDonald's, Jackson County: An outbreak at the location at 245 Barnett Road in Medford has grown to 21 cases since a few cases were first reported on Sept. 6.

The two deaths bring the reported total of people who've died with COVID-19 to 583. According to the state, both had "underlying conditions."

They include:

• A Washington County man, 86, who tested positive Sept. 24 and died Oct. 5 in his residence. He had underlying conditions.

• A Deschutes County woman, 69, who tested positive Aug. 26 and died Oct. 5 at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.

The state also reports 305 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing Oregon's reported total to 35,634. Presumed cases are thought to be positive based on symptoms and contact with a confirmed case.

The counties seeing the largest numbers of new cases are: Lane (53), Multnomah (43), Linn (31), Washington (26), Marion (25), Clackamas (22) and Jackson (21).

On Tuesday, Oct. 6, Gov. Kate Brown hailed a federal decision to distribute more rapid-testing capacity, which could as much as double testing in Oregon. She and state health officials said the boost in testing could make it easier to avoid and control outbreaks in schools. Brown said she intends to relax state coronavirus benchmarks to make it easier to resume in-classroom instruction.


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