COVID-19

LA GRANDE — Union County on Thursday, July 30, was removed from the governor’s watch list, one of two counties along with Lincoln taken off after seeing a drastic reduction in cases following outbreaks in June.

The move came on a day when Union County saw an eight-day run without new COVID-19 cases end. The Center for Human Development reported one case Thursday and two Friday, giving the county a total of 388.

Union County’s slowdown in cases is welcome news at the end of a month where the total number of cases in the state doubled — again.

Oregon on Thursday passed 18,000 cases, and as of Friday afternoon has 18,492, according to the Oregon Health Authority. That’s more than 9,500 cases in the month of July.

At the end of June, there were 8,931 cases. It’s the second month in a row the number of total cases has at least doubled. For the month, Oregon has averaged 318.7 new cases a day.

During the month of June, younger Oregonians were more likely — at a disproportionate rate — to contract the disease, and did so again in the month of July.

Individuals from 20-29, who account for 21.7% of all cases in the state, saw their number rise by 2,247 cases to 4,009 and in July made up close to one-fourth (23.5%) of all cases. That demographic makes up the most cases with 764 more than 30-39 year olds (3,245 cases), which have had 1,680 cases during the month.

People in the 30-39 range accounted for 17.57% of all cases in July, a mark just ahead of the number of cases (17.55%) they have made up for since the start of the pandemic.

The 40-49 demographic increased by 1,617 cases to 3,096, making up 16.9% of the month’s total, just above the amount of overall cases it has accounted for.

The largest percentage increase within a group was in 10-19 year olds, which shot up from 682 cases through June to 1,854 cases in July. That increase was 172%, and the group made up 12.3% of all new cases. Youth under age 10 increased from 332 cases through June to 798 cases through July, a jump of 140%. They make up 4.3% of all cases in Oregon.

While each age range under 50 saw its count more than double, the percentage of infections has continued to drop for those 50 and older — an age group that has seen all but nine of the 322 deaths in the state. The numbers break down as follows:

•50-59 year olds (2,351 total cases) accounted for 11.1% of cases in July (1,063) down from 14.4% through June and from its overall percentage of 12.7%.

•60-69 (1,532 cases) made up 6.8% of cases in July (652) after accounting for 9.9% through June and 8.3% overall.

•70-79 (939 cases) saw just 4.1% of the month’s cases (393), down from 6.1% through June and 5.1% overall.

•And those 80 and older (638 cases), the hardest-hit group in terms of mortality rate, saw just 256 new cases in July, just 2.7% of the month’s total, which has helped drag its overall total down to 3.5%.

Through the five months of the pandemic, individuals under age 50, which according to 2018 census data make up about 63.6% of the state’s population, were responsible for 70.3% of the state’s cases. The oldest three demographics in Oregon Health Authority data, which have made up 91.3% of those who have died with COVID-19, make up 23.5% of the population, but now have just 16.8% of cases in Oregon, and 13.6% in July. Through June, they made up 20.2% of all cases. Each age group 50 and under has a higher percentage of cases relative to its portion of the population, while the 50-59 group is right at its population ratio.

The state’s rate of positive cases, which through June was 3.51%, has bumped up to 4.35%. More than 160,000 test results came back in July, with the number of positive tests at 9,015 for a monthly positive percentage of 5.6%.

There were 114 deaths attributed to COVID-19 during July. The 1.19% mortality rate in the month took Oregon’s overall rate down from 2.33% to 1.74%. Oregon has tested about 9.5% of its population.

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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