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Oregon reports record number of COVID-19 cases

The Oregon Health Authority reported 281 new cases of COVID-19 in the state Wednesday — the highest daily number since the pandemic started.

Umatilla County had among the biggest case loads with 42 new cases, OHA reported. Only Washington County had more, with 48 cases, according to a news release. As of Wednesday, the state had seen 8,931 cases of the disease.

OHA reported one death from the illness Wednesday, a 91-year-old woman in Marion County, bringing the state’s death toll to 208.

Klamath County Public Health reported its first death Tuesday — a woman in her 70s — but that death was not noted in OHA’s daily report.

“This is a sad day for our community. We must all remember that this individual has a family and friends who need privacy to mourn,” Klamath County Public Health Director Jennifer Little said in a news release. “With international attention often focused on the number of deaths worldwide, it would be easy to see this milestone as a mere statistic. However, this person was a member of our community.”

On Wednesday, Jackson County reported three new cases, bringing the county’s running total to 117. Of that number, 65 people have recovered, with 52 cases still active.

Wednesday was the first day of a statewide mandate that requires masks to be worn in indoor public spaces across the state.

Despite area cancellations of fireworks shows and parades for the Independence Day weekend, Jackson County Medical Director Dr. Jim Shames said residents should still take several precautions during social gatherings. Those who are sick or are in a “high-risk” category for contracting the disease are advised to stay home, he said.

“It might be best if you just don’t go,” Shames said.

If hosting a gathering, Shames said, there should be plenty of opportunities for guests to wash their hands. He also recommended wearings masks, holding gatherings outside to allow more room and more opportunities to physically distance, and he recommended that people bring their own food to picnics and barbecues.

Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanPfeil.