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Seven new coronavirus cases found in Oregon; governor declares state of emergency

Gov. Kate Brown declared the 60-day state of emergency at a news conference Sunday; the new patients are from Washington, Marion and Douglas counties

PORTLAND, Ore. — State health officials announced Sunday, March 8 that they have found seven new presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Oregon.

The new cases double the number of known patients in the state to 14. 

Five of the new patients are from Washington County, one is from Marion County and one is from Douglas County.

None of the new cases are travel-related, state officials said. 

The new patients contracted the virus either through community spread or contact with another known case.

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Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency Sunday over the spread of COVID-19.

The declaration gives state officials access to additional resources to help the state combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The state of emergency will remain in effect for 60 days, Gov. Brown said at a news conference. "It can be extended until the public health threat of the virus is contained."

FACTS NOT FEAR: Get the latest coronavirus updates

Three of the new patients were diagnosed while already hospitalized. 

In a statement Sunday, Oregon Health & Science University confirmed that they are currently treating one of the new cases. 

At the news conference, health officials said their testing and outreach efforts will be focused on the populations believed to be at high risk from COVID-19: older adults, people with underlying health conditions and homeless people.

The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, which represents Oregon’s 62 acute care hospitals, released a statement Sunday supporting the declaration.

"We are working with the state administration to address important issues such as inpatient capacity, additional supplies and equipment to keep our workers and patients safe, regulatory relief to ensure adequate staffing and clarity around changing requirements,” the statement read.

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