Stay home, avoid parties of any kind and remember you are most likely to get COVID-19 from your own friends and family.
That’s the message from Gov. Kate Brown as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spiked this week.
The numbers paint a stark picture. There are, according to the Oregon Health Authority, 204 patients in Oregon hospitals who have tested positive for COVID-19. More than 50 of them are in intensive care units.
Even after previous spikes last spring, the latest numbers represent the most people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Oregon since the pandemic started.
And on Thursday, OHA reported 805 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, a single-day record since coronavirus hit the state last winter.
The Portland metro area had by far the greatest number of people with positive tests Thursday, with 196 cases in Multnomah County, 134 cases in Washington County and 71 in Clackamas County. Cases stretched across the state, with 29 of Oregon’s 36 counties reporting at least one case.
State health officials say that while the data is incomplete, their best guess is that small informal indoor gatherings are driving the spread.
Brown promised to take further action to stop the spread and said she would say more at a press conference Friday.
“Let me be clear: we cannot allow this disease to continue to spread so rapidly in our communities. Lives are at stake," she said in a press release. "Oregonians have made tremendous sacrifices to help each other throughout this pandemic, which is why Oregon has done relatively better than many other states at containing COVID-19. We can’t let up now. I will take further action to stop the spread of COVID-19, and I need Oregonians to continue to do their part as well.”