SALEM, Ore. — A church in rural northeastern Oregon is now the epicenter of the state’s largest coronavirus outbreak, as 236 people tested positive for the disease, authorities said Tuesday.
The outbreak also led to Oregon’s second consecutive record-setting daily case count.
“I think generally we are seeing increasing numbers, which is what we expected with reopening,” said Thomas Jeanne, the deputy state health officer and deputy state epidemiologist.
In response to the increasing case counts Gov. Kate Brown last week said she was putting all county applications for further reopening from her COVID-19 restrictions on hold for seven days.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 278 new statewide cases Tuesday — a 51% increase from Monday’s case count. Officials cited the rise in cases due largely to increased testing, contact tracing, workplace outbreaks “as well as potential spread in the community.”
The largest outbreak, which was first made public Monday, is associated with Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in Union County.