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Jackson County reports 21 new daily cases, 220 statewide

The Oregon Health Authority on Sunday reported 220 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths. In Jackson County, 21 new cases were reported, pushing the local total up to 1,492 with an unchanged total of six fatalities.

The number of new statewide known cases is far below the rolling seven-day average of about 340 new known infections, but case counts reported on Sundays are often among the lowest of the week.

Oregon has been experiencing a concerning rise in infections for the past five weeks and one that new projections Friday say could easily continue. If transmission continues at its current rate, the state is expected to report about 570 new daily cases by Nov. 5.

In reality, an estimated 2,200 Oregonians would be infected each day, because most people who have the novel coronavirus aren’t tested and their cases go undetected. The projection estimates a nearly 70% increase from the current average number of daily infections.

But experts worry that transmission will only get worse — not better — with cooler and wetter weather encouraging people to gather indoors and the holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving bringing people together this month and next.

In Oregon, daily reports of new known infections are close to tying the all-time highs that the state reached in late July.

Nationwide, daily new cases are at their highest numbers since early August. In the past two weeks, new known cases are up 28% and deaths are up 1%, according to The New York Times’ tracker. Deaths typically begin to increase a few weeks after people are infected. That’s often the amount of time it takes for the disease to begin killing.

Where the new cases are by county: Benton (3), Clackamas (8), Columbia (4), Coos (4), Deschutes (6), Douglas (2), Jackson (21), Josephine (1), Klamath (2), Lane (33), Lincoln (1), Linn (7), Malheur (2), Marion (33), Morrow (1), Multnomah (58), Polk (2), Umatilla (3), Wallowa (1), Washington (22), and Yamhill (6).

New prison death

The Oregon Department of Corrections announced a 15th inmate has died from COVID-19. The inmate, who prison officials are withholding the name of, was between 55 and 65 years old and died on Saturday at an unidentified hospital.

He was incarcerated at the Snake River Correctional Institution in the eastern Oregon community of Ontario. His death has not been included yet in the state’s reported death count.

In all, 1,192 inmates and 285 prison employees have been stricken by the virus.