ONTARIO – The Malheur County Health Department reported 11 new COVID-19 virus cases Friday, pushing the total number for the county to 84.

The new cases include a female patient over the age of 80 who was hospitalized because of the COVID-19 virus. The county reported two people are now hospitalized because of the COVID-19 virus.

Thursday, the county reported 13 new COVID-19 virus cases. 

Since June 14, the number of cases in Malheur County has nearly tripled.

Sarah Poe, Malheur County Health Department director, said Friday she will activate a contact tracing headquarters at Four Rivers Cultural Center Monday.

Thursday, the county reported 5.7% of those tested were turning up positive. Friday’s new cases pushed the rate up to 6.5%. A week ago, the county’s rate was 3.8%. The state average is 3.7%

“We are shifting our focus to case investigation and contact tracing,” said Poe.

Poe labeled the recent spate of new cases a “surge.”

“So we are asking people to be vigilant, wear face coverings when you go out. We have significant spread all around us. It is across the county and in our bordering county’s communities,” said Poe.

The state reported a total of 7,818 COVID-19 virus cases today.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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