Wasco County was one of eight Oregon counties placed on a Watch List Friday July 3, by Governor Kate Brown because the spread of COVID-19 in these counties has risen to “alarming levels,” she said in a press release.

Wasco County has recorded 47 cases in the last two weeks, bringing the total to 89. Of the 47 cases, 50 percent were related to agricultural workplace outbreaks, 28 percent are spontaneous, meaning no known source, and 22 percent are close contacts of cases.

The Oregon Health Authority and local officials are deploying additional capacity to control the spread of the disease. If the counties do not see a downturn quickly, restrictive measures such as business closures or tighter gathering size limits will ensue, Brown said.

The Oregon Health Authority found alarmingly high per capita rates of increase in the counties in recent weeks, as well as community spread, which is cases where the infections are not attributable to a specific location or event.

Community spread is a serious warning sign for health experts.

Other counties added were Jefferson, Lake, Lincoln, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla and Union. In light of a record 375 cases Thursday, Brown also announced today stepped up enforcement statewide on face covering, physical distancing and occupancy standards for businesses.

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