Oregon Sets Record For New Coronavirus Cases In A Day With 278

By OPB Staff (OPB)
Portland, Ore. June 16, 2020 8:15 p.m.

UPDATE (2:41 p.m. PT) — Oregon saw the highest number of single-day known coronavirus cases Tuesday, again driven by a spike in cases from a rural community in Eastern Oregon.

Health officials reported 278 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the state, bringing the total number of known cases to 6,098. Tuesday’s case number marks the highest daily count since the onset of the pandemic, breaking the record-high set Monday.


Many of the new cases are from Union County. The county had 119 new cases as of Tuesday. On Monday, it saw an increase of 99 cases. Union County is in the northeastern corner of Oregon, and has a population of just 26,000.

According to county health officials, a number of cases have been associated with Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church in La Grande, which recently hosted a testing clinic. At least 365 tested through public health, with more cases still pending as of Monday. In a media call Monday, officials said the uptick could be due to the increase in testing and community spread, and are not entirely from that church community.

“Many of the recent positive cases are touching various areas of our community and are not confined to one location,” said Carrie Brogoitti, Public Health Administrator for Center for Human Development in Union County in a statement.

Health officials also reported two more deaths Tuesday, bringing the state’s total deaths to 182.

OHA reported those new deaths as:

  • An 89-year-old man in Clackamas County who tested positive on June 13 and died on June 15 at his residence. He had underlying medical conditions.
  • An 85-year-old woman in Marion County who tested positive on June 11 and died on June 13 at Salem Hospital. She had underlying medical conditions.

As of Tuesday, 141 people are hospitalized with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 22 who are on ventilators. Coronavirus has led to the hospitalization of 912 people since over the course of the pandemic.

Oregon COVID-19 Map

Jacob Fenton, The Accountability Project at the Investigative Reporting Workshop 

Clark County at more than 600 confirmed cases

Related: How An Outbreak Showed Clark County Was Ready To Reopen

Health officials in Clark County announced Tuesday that nine more residents have tested positive for COVID-19.In total, 656 people have tested positive in Clark County, and 28 people have died.The most recent available data from the Washington Department of Health show 26,158 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state and 1,221 known deaths.

Oregon unemployment rate slightly decreases

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 14.2% in May from 14.9% in April, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

The U.S. unemployment rate also dropped in May to 13.3% from 14.7% in April.

Oregon added 22,500 new nonfarm-related jobs in May, the department said Tuesday, equaling the addition of nearly one in 10 jobs that were cut in April.

The leisure and hospitality sector saw the biggest job increase, with nearly 16,000 added jobs; more than half of those jobs were for full-service restaurants that have begun reopening in some counties around the state. Health care, construction and retail also saw some newly added jobs.

Meanwhile, jobs were still lost in the manufacturing and government sectors, with nearly 5,000 and 10,000 jobs lost respectively.

“Although Oregon experienced job gains due to the limited resumption of economic activity in May, over the past three months of the COVID-19 pandemic job losses have totaled 243,500,” Anna Johnson, Senior Economic Analyst with the Oregon Employment Department, said in a statement. “Historically, this loss is unprecedented and currently thousands of Oregonians are still suffering the economic realities of being unemployed.”

Portland’s free lunch and play program starts June 22

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Free Lunch + Play program begins June 22, the agency said.

The program offers free meals at parks around the city as well as several apartment complexes, and activities and games. Those activities include things like art kits and free books that kids can take-home this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Children do not need to be present in order to receive a meal. Some locations will offer an option to drive up for curbside pickup of meals. The schedule for the free lunch program is available on the Portland Parks & Recreation website.

“This summer looks different than any other, with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 health crisis,” Portland Parks & Recreation Director Adena Long said in a statement. “But Portland Parks & Recreation has been providing summertime food for nearly 50 years. We are continuing to help people be healthier, life to be more stable, and neighbors to make lifelong summer memories through this flagship program. Our thanks to all our City and non-profit partners who are helping deliver summertime fun, food, and memories.”