Record-High New Oregon COVID Cases, 20 in Benton County

The Oregon Health Authority reported yesterday that 1,122 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed and four more lives were taken by the virus statewide. In Benton County, 20 new cases were confirmed for Thursday, Nov. 12.   

These new numbers bring the state total of confirmed cases to 53,779 and the total of fatalities to 746. Benton County has now had a total of 522 cases and six fatalities.   

The four who died of the coronavirus included: a 62-year-old man in Lane County who did not have any underlying conditions; a 93-year-old man in Clackamas County who had underlying conditions; a 95-year-old man in Marion County who had underlying conditions; and a 35-year-old man in Multnomah County – the presence of underlying conditions is still being confirmed for this person.   

OHA reported that the total for Nov. 12 is the highest number of cases reported in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic in Oregon. Small social gatherings are one of the main culprits: some of this week’s cases have been traced back to at least five Halloween gatherings, which ranged from small in size to more than 100 people. Thursday’s new cases have yet to be traced to specific sources and are under investigation.  

This week’s numbers are a 46% increase from last week’s 3,542 confirmed cases, and this week marks the third consecutive week in which daily case counts have set a record high.   

34,307 Oregonians have been newly tested, and 11.9% of the tests were positive, which is a sharp increase from previous percentages.  

This week, people aged 20 to 49 accounted for the largest percentage of infection at 55%, while people under 30 accounted for 37%, people over 80 accounted for 51%, and people over 70 accounted for 74%.   

Locally, it has been reported that an Oregon State University football player has tested positive for COVID-19. Three other players are now in quarantine, and all four team members will remain in quarantine for up to 14 days from when they tested positive.   

OHA is strongly recommending that people limit social gatherings to your household: if you do have gatherings, keep your social gathering circle to the same six people and reduce the frequency of such gatherings in order to combat the spike in cases. As always, however, it’s best to keep to the members of your household.   

By Cara Nixon