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A customer wearing a mask enters the La Grande Safeway in this April file photo. The supermarket recently made the Oregon Health Authority’s list of sites of workplace COVID-19 outbreaks.

LA GRANDE — Safeway in La Grande is the latest location in Union County to have a reported outbreak. According to the most recent weekly COVID-19 report from the Oregon Health Authority, the grocery store had five confirmed cases.

“The health and safety of everyone who walks through our doors is a top priority,” said Jill McGinnis, director of communications and public affairs for Safeway. “The most recent date an employee tested positive was June 16, and all employees who were in close contact with any of the employees who tested positive for COVID-19 were required to take paid quarantine leave for 14 days.”

The OHA report showed the most recent onset of COVID-19 at Safeway was June 24.

La Grande’s Center for Human Development on Friday reported one more case of COVID-19 in Union County to bump the overall count to 368. This comes after four more cases Thursday. The center on Thursday also confirmed a second death in the county to the virus, which The Observer reported earlier this week.

According to the center, 40 people in Union County have recovered from COVID-19, putting the number of active cases at 326.

Wallowa County also added another case both Thursday and Friday, increasing its total to 13, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Wallowa County has one reported recovery.

Four other workplace outbreaks in the county reported by OHA — including at Grande Ronde Hospital — appear to be under control.

The hospital, which was reported to have 11 cases of COVID-19 among its staff a week ago, had 12 in the most recent report, which tracked data through Sunday night and came out Wednesday afternoon.

Outdoors RV had eight cases, up one from what OHA reported a week ago. Both New Day Enterprises and Grande Ronde Retirement Residence do not have any additional cases, as OHA reports them with nine and five, respectively.

Through Sunday, when the county had 356 cases, there were 308 in the La Grande and Island City ZIP code. The remaining 48 were dispersed among the other six cities in the county.

How many are in each is unknown. The ZIP codes for Elgin, Cove and Union all list “1-9” as the case count. Imbler, North Powder and Summerville’s ZIPs are not listed individually, and instead are counted in a combined total with all other ZIP codes statewide of less than 1,000 people. These moves, OHA says, are made to protect privacy.

Oregon tabulated 275 more cases in the state Friday, a day after a record total of 389, and saw its overall count move to 11,454. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is 232, according to OHA, after six deaths were reported Thursday and two Friday.

The state’s overall positive test rate moved up to 3.8%, now reporting 10,881 positive test results out of 286,197 tests. In Union County, the positive rate remains at about 17%.

Younger Oregonians continue to account for the majority of the increase in cases, as 225 of the cases Thursday and 144 Friday were people 39 and younger. For individuals 49 and younger, those numbers per day were 282 Thursday and 199 Friday. The 20-29-year-old age bracket had the highest total of new cases — 85 Thursday and 56 Friday — and now accounts for 2,374 cases.

Thursday, 54 more Oregonians age 60 and older, 24 people age 70 and older, and eight who are 80 and older — the most vulnerable portion of the population — are reported as having the virus. Friday, those numbers were at 20, 15 and three, respectively.

Hospitalizations in the state were at 139 Friday for confirmed COVID-19 patients. An additional 69 patients with presumptive cases were in the hospital. The overall total was up 16 from Thursday.

Oregon OSHA in a press release on Friday said it is encouraging individuals to file complaints for lack of COVID-19 compliance at www.osha.oregon.gov, stating that online reporting “offers a quicker way to bring concerns to the division’s attention.”

East Region Sports Editor

Ronald's primary beats are Eastern Oregon University, La Grande High School and the other eight high schools of Union and Wallowa counties. As an avid sports fan, he is primarily reading about or watching sports when he isn't covering a game.

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