Umatilla County remains on the governor’s COVID-19 watchlist as the state monitors the county’s progress on fighting the virus.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, Umatilla County Public Health announced 15 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in county residents, for a total of 82 cases over the previous seven days. The county needs to be down to eight cases a week for three weeks in a row, along with a test positivity rate of less than 5%, to reopen schools completely.

The Oct. 20 news release stated the county currently has seven residents hospitalized with the virus, and 168 presumptive cases. Presumptive cases are people who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 after coming into close contact with a confirmed case, but they have either not gotten tested or not received their results yet.

Since the pandemic began, Umatilla County has 3,120 confirmed cases and 14,797 negative tests.

Umatilla County Public Health announced one new death of a resident with COVID-19 in the past week.

The county’s 43rd death was a 69-year-old woman, who tested positive Oct. 5 and died Oct. 14 at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston. She had underlying conditions.

On a statewide level, on Oct. 20 the Oregon Health Authority announced 346 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 and six new deaths of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19, raising the state’s death total to 633 since the pandemic began.

A list of workplace outbreaks in Umatilla and Morrow counties can be found in the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly reported, published each Wednesday, at The weekly report also breaks down the state’s COVID-19 data by gender, race, ZIP code and other demographics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 tracking website, Oregon has one of the lowest cases per capita numbers in the country in the past 7 days, at 7.9 cases per 100,000 residents. Nationwide, the CDC has reported more than 8.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and 219,499 deaths of people with COVID-19.

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