UNION COUNTY — The Center for Human Development, La Grande, announced eight new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, Nov. 19, bringing the county’s five-day total to 59.

"Taking risk reduction measures today is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 to keep those in our community that are more vulnerable to serious illness and death safe and to helping maintain hospital capacity so that all Oregonians can continue to have access to quality care," CHD stated in the announcement.

Caseloads have remained high in Union County in November, a trend reflected at the state and national levels. COVID-19 has exploded across the country in recent weeks, and on Wednesday the total deaths in the U.S. surpassed the quarter-million mark.

State officials have stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the virus. A statewide "two-week freeze" began Wednesday, Nov. 18, and extends through Dec. 2. During that time, restaurants are restricted to take-out and delivery service only, and limits are in place on indoor activities and gatherings.

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Newest reporter with the La Grande Observer and Union County native. Coverage includes COVID-19, news stories, sports, business and community issues.

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