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Multnomah, Marion, Hood River counties added to Oregon's COVID-19 watch list

The watch list allows the state to prioritize resources in counties where coronavirus is spreading more rapidly and cases are not traced to a known source.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — As the coronavirus continues to spread around Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown announced the additions of Multnomah, Marion and Hood River counties to the state’s COVID-19 County Watch List.

The list now includes 10 Oregon counties. It allows the state to prioritize resources, including contact tracing help, in the counties where the virus is spreading more rapidly and health officials cannot trace cases to a known source.

These untraced cases, known as sporadic cases, are a marker of coronavirus spreading in a community. Counties with a sporadic case rate of at least 5% over a two-week period have a rapid community spread, according to the governor’s office.

Interactive: Coronavirus in Oregon

In Multnomah County, the majority of last week’s cases (62%) were not traced to a known source, said the county’s health officer, Dr. Jennifer Vines.

Counties remain on the watch list for a minimum of three weeks and until their sporadic case rates drop below 5%.

Two Oregon counties, Lincoln and Union, have been removed from the list after the governor’s office said they succeeded in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Union County voluntarily moved back to Phase 1 and Lincoln County opted to remain in Phase 1 to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The following counties are on the state’s watch list:

  • Baker
  • Hood River
  • Jefferson
  • Lake
  • Malheur
  • Marion
  • Morrow
  • Multnomah
  • Umatilla
  • Wasco

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RELATED: 'This disease is widespread in Multnomah County': Most county COVID-19 cases not traceable to a known source