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COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon today, raising the state’s death toll to 232, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

OHA reported 275 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today bringing the state total to 11,454. No new cases were reported for Lincoln County.

Social gatherings are increasing spread

Since Oregon began reopening, state health officials have seen spread of COVID-19 when people get together to celebrate with family and friends. Some examples include: graduations, birthdays, weddings and holidays.

COVID-19 is spreading more among social activities involving groups of younger people. OHA has recorded outbreaks linked to: Exercise classes, a Fraternity party and a Bachelor party.

"While it is difficult not to celebrate these events as we have in the past, COVID-19 is spreading in our communities and people must think hard about altering daily routines that may put people at risk," OHA said today in their daily report.

OHA recommends that everyone:

Limit the size of our gatherings

Keep our distance

Cover our faces

Find alternative ways for those who are vulnerable to participate.

Modeling shows potentially steep upward trend

The newest modeling shows the continuation of a concerning trend of rapidly spreading COVID-19 throughout Oregon. Cases are rising at a rate so high, that even a 10 percent reduction in cases would not slow the rise in cases.

OHA said the bottom line is that the disease is spreading more rapidly than expected and that since reopening, Oregonians have not consistently modeled the behavior needed to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Three modeling scenarios all show rising cases.

The first scenario assumes transmission rates stay the same as they are now, with daily infections tripling over the next month and a similar increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations over the next 30 days.

The second scenario assumes a 10-percentage point decrease over the 30 days, slowing the growth of infection and cutting hospitalizations in half.

The third and final scenario assumes a 10-percentage point increase continuing over the next 30 days with a dramatic increase in daily cases and a sharp increase in hospitalizations.

"In any scenario Oregonians must do more to flatten the curve of COVID-19 by taking the recommendations of health authorities. Limit the size of gatherings; maintain six feet of physical distance between people; wear a face masks; practice good hand hygiene and stay home if you are sick," OHA says.

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