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Oregon coronavirus updates May 27: Multnomah County aims for June 12 reopening

As COVID-19 continues to impact Oregon and Southwest Washington, get the latest updates here.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Cases of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus, began popping up in the United States in January. The first case in Oregon was reported on Feb. 28.

We post a new blog post every day that tracks the daily changes in Oregon and Southwest Washington as we get them. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST UPDATES


As of Wednesday evening:


11:25 p.m.

  • “This has been a scramble for everybody,” said Josh Hinerfeld, CEO of Firestone Pacific Foods. On Wednesday, Hinerfeld spoke publicly for the first time about his company’s COVID-19 outbreak. 85 cases are linked to the food plant. Learn more

9:45 p.m.

  • In its weekly coronavirus report released on Wednesday, the Oregon Health Authority provided updated numbers for cases in the state, organized by ZIP code. See how many cases are in your neighborhood. Learn more
  • A plan would let Portland restaurants apply for permits that would allow them to expand into the street so customers could maintain social distancing. Learn more
  • The Portland Thorns will return to the pitch for games next month as part of a summer tournament being put on by the National Women's Soccer League. Games will be held in Utah without fans, and begin June 27. Learn more

6:20 p.m.

  • The percentage of positive coronavirus tests in Oregon declined last week to the lowest number during the pandemic. That drop has coincided with an increase of testing statewide. Learn more
  • Gov. Jay Inslee announced he is easing restrictions for religious gatherings in Washington state.  In Phase 1 of the state's reopening plan, churches can offer outdoor religious services with up to 100 people present. Social distancing and face coverings are required.  Indoor religious services can be held at 25% capacity or with fewer than 50 individuals, whichever is less, in Phase 2. Learn more
  • The U.S. surpassed a jarring milestone Wednesday in the coronavirus pandemic: 100,000 deaths. That number is the best estimate and most assuredly an undercount. But it represents the stark reality that more Americans have died from the virus than from the Vietnam and Korean wars combined. Learn more

3:15 p.m.

  • Multnomah County will apply for Phase 1 of reopening on June 5 with the goal of entering Phase 1 on June 12. Learn more
  • For the third consecutive day, the Oregon Health Authority reported no new deaths in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s death toll remains at 148. Learn more
  • The Oregon Health Authority is investigating “an increase in COVID-19 cases tied to an outbreak at specific locations of a business.” The state public health agency said the business operates in the Portland metro area’s tri-county region and the Willamette Valley, but gave no other specific details about the business or outbreak locations. Learn more
  • Nearly 40,000 Oregonians are still waiting to receive unemployment benefits. Oregon Employment Department (OED) Director Kay Erickson testified about the agency's response. Learn more

11:45 a.m.

  • All of Oregon's counties — aside from Multnomah County — have applied or entered Phase 1 of reopening. Many of them don't have the required number of contact tracers and counties are currently overwhelmed overwhelmed with applications for contact tracing positions. "It’s an onslaught. I haven't counted (the responses). They all go in a file folder," Clackamas County Public Health Director Julie Aalbers said in an interview Tuesday. Learn more
  • Multnomah County leaders will hold a press conference about the county's efforts to meet opening requirements today at 2:30 p.m. Learn more
  • Despite much of the state in Phase 1 of reopening, Oregon Lottery offices remain closed. "We do not have a date to re-open," said an Oregon Lottery spokesperson. Learn more
  • Some permanent and portable restrooms have opened at community and regional parks in Clark County. Not all park restrooms will reopen at this time, so Parks and Lands Division officials advise visitors to bring hand sanitizer when visiting local parks. Learn more
  • Walla Walla County was one of three Washington counties approved to move into Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee's reopening plan for the state. Thurston and Kittitas were the other two counties. Learn more

7:45 a.m.

Credit: KGW
  • An Oregon City woman is on day 54 of her battle with the coronavirus. In addition to physical distress, Jennifer English says she's felt depression and anxiety like never before. She found hope and community online. Learn more 
  • Parents, teachers and school superintendents will find out in early June how schools are expected to function this fall after months of being closed. Colt Gill, director of the Oregon Department of Education, said in an interview that the state expects school buildings to reopen in September. (From Les Zaitz/Malheur Enterprise) Learn more
  • Mount Hood National Forest officials said most developed recreation sites will reopen Friday. Some sites will remain closed, including most campgrounds and areas that are still under seasonal closures. Learn more 
  • The Oregon Employment Department says it has launched a project aimed at handling the 38,000-claim backlog that has continued to grow during the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more


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