UPDATE (3:34 p.m. PT) — Oregon state and local health officials reported 1,181 known coronavirus cases as of Tuesday afternoon.
Health officials reported Tuesday that there have been 33 known coronavirus-related deaths in the state.
Five deaths in Clark County since Friday
Two more people have died from the novel coronavirus in Clark County, Washington, marking five deaths in the county since Friday.
Clark County Public Health announced the deaths Tuesday afternoon, as well as 13 new cases discovered. To date, 185 people have tested positive and 13 have died.
On Monday, the latest data available from the Washington Department of Health, the state had 8,682 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus and 394 related deaths.
Multnomah County sees first coronavirus cases in homeless population
Two homeless individuals in Multnomah County have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the county’s public health department.
A county spokesperson Tuesday confirmed that of the 276 confirmed coronavirus cases in Multnomah County, two people reported being unhoused. It is not currently clear whether the people were living in shelters or elsewhere.
Gov. Kate Brown extends restaurant closures
Dine-in service at restaurants and bars in Oregon is now banned indefinitely.
Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday she is extending a March 17 order limiting eateries to take-out service only. That order was set to lapse on April 15.
Brown said it would be irresponsible to lift the ban while Oregon continues to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak.
It will remain in place until she lifts her order directing Oregonians to stay home.
More PPE expected for Oregon
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management said Tuesday that it is expecting a shipment of personal protective equipment from the U.S. Agency for International Development sometime Wednesday.
Oregon OEM Director Andrew Phelps said the agency is expecting the state to receive an order of “78 pallets” of PPE from USAID.
When asked to specify, Phelps was unable to say how much PPE Oregon is expected to receive in a pallet.
“It means we’re getting a whole bunch of stuff that we desperately need. This is going to be on the magnitude of tens of thousands of N-95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, face shields,” Phelps said. “All of this is going to be pushed into our supply systems and immediately sent out to counties and tribes.”
Phelps also said in relation to the ventilators that Oregon sent to New York last weekend, the state is expecting those back.
“Right now we have plenty of ventilators. We have a number of ventilators that aren’t being committed right now to a patient, so we feel right now we have that capacity,” he said.
He continued: “We expect to have those ventilators back. We didn’t gift them to New York. We lent them to New York. They’re part of that strategic national stockpile and we expect those ventilators to come back to us.”
Phelps reiterated that the actual number of coronavirus cases in Oregon is still unknown, speaking to the limitations of testing.
“We only know at this point what we know,” he said. “I think we’re relatively confident that there are many more cases than what we’re able to test for.”
Phelps said because of that, it’s important for Oregonians to continue social distancing and staying at home as much as possible, even as the weather improves this week.
“We don’t know who may have it. A lot of folks have it and are asymptomatic,” he said. “That’s why we need to make sure that we continue to stay home and do those things to maintain physical distance.”
Clark County reports jail inmate with COVID-19
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that an inmate tested positive this week for COVID-19. The inmate was released from custody Monday before their test results came back.
Sheriff’s deputies held the inmate in a “negative airflow cell” the entire time the person was in jail, and used protective equipment while in contact with the person, according to the sheriff’s office.
County health officials plan to advise deputies based on their interactions with the person.
The jail did not release more information about the inmate’s medical status, citing privacy protections.
Washington schools closed for rest of the year
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and state schools Superintendent Chris Reykdal said Monday that K-12 schools will not open their doors to students again this school year.
Schools had originally been scheduled to reopen April 27.
Schools are encouraged to continue to provide distance learning.
TriMet continues updating safety procedures
TriMet, the Portland region’s public transportation agency, said it is continuing to supply face coverings to its drivers and operators during the coronavirus pandemic.
The agency said Tuesday that it has also added nine portable decontamination devices to its cleaning routines.
“The devices are roughly the size of a small cooler and evenly spray a fine mist of hydrogen peroxide-based solution throughout a bus’s interior,” the agency said. “It takes approximately 45 minutes to fog the interior of a bus, followed by a two-hour period where the bus sits with the doors closed.”
Temporary service reductions went into effect for the agency Sunday.
TriMet said the week of March 29 it saw 673,504 riders — a more than 64% decrease from the February average.
Food banks struggling in Washington
Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday announced an effort to resupply Washington’s food banks, which are running low due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Inslee says because of increasing demand supplies at the state’s food banks have dropped to dangerously low levels, with an estimated 1.6 million people — double the usual number — in expected to seek food aid.
The relief effort, called WA Food Fund, is being managed by Philanthropy Northwest, a network of philanthropic organizations. The effort will combine business and philanthropic dollars with individual fundraising to have the most effect.
Fred Meyer begins limiting customers
Kroger, the parent company of Fred Meyer, announced Monday that it would limit the number of customers in its stores due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The standard building capacity for a grocery store is one person per 60 square feet, Kroger said. Beginning Tuesday, Fred Meyer stores will cut that capacity in half, limiting the number of people in stores to one person per 120 square feet.
Kroger has also implemented other safety procedures recently including encouraging employees to wear face masks and gloves and installing plexiglass partitions at registers.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.