The Oregon Health Authority announced 388 new suspected or confirmed cases and three new deaths linked to COVID-19 Saturday, a dip in cases from the previous day but in keeping with an overall rise in infections that state public health officials say may skyrocket in the coming weeks.

The three COVID deaths reported Saturday put the state’s total at 620. There have so far been 39,316 known cases of the disease in Oregon.

New state modeling released Friday shows that if transmission continues at the current rate, Oregon’s case count is expected to jump from an average of around 345 each day to 570 by Nov. 5. But because most cases go undetected, state public health officials estimate the actual number of infections would be about 2,200.

Should the rate of transmission increase, officials say the number of new cases reported daily may reach 740, or 3,400 total.

Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state epidemiologist and state health officer, urged Oregonians to take seriously such measures as wearing masks, practicing social distancing and gathering in small groups.

“The virus is extraordinarily contagious and as the weather turns and we head indoors it’ll be more important than ever to practice preventative measures,” he said.

Sidelinger and other officials have warned against in-person Halloween parties or trick-or-treating, although public health authorities have stopped short of advising against holding gatherings with extended family or friends altogether as the holidays near. Officials say they “know there’s fatigue” among the public as the pandemic stretches into its eighth month.

Where the new cases are by county: Baker (1), Benton (2), Clackamas (30), Columbia (4), Coos (5), Crook (5), Deschutes (13), Douglas (7), Jackson (24), Josephine (2), Klamath (1), Lane (48), Linn (8), Malheur (13), Marion (49), Morrow (1), Multnomah (95), Polk (8), Umatilla (13), Union (1), Wallowa (1), Wasco (1), Washington (50), and Yamhill (6).

New fatalities:

The 618th fatality is is an 83-year-old Multnomah County man with underlying conditions. He tested positive on Oct. 3 and died Oct. 9 at Portland Adventist Medical Center.

The 619th fatality is an 83-year-old Wallowa County woman with underlying conditions. She tested positive on Sept. 14 and died Sept. 29 at home.

The 620th fatality is a 92-year-old Marion County man who had underlying conditions. He tested positive on Oct. 3 and died Oct. 16 at home.

Not yet included in the death count released Saturday by the Oregon Health Authority is an inmate at Snake River Correctional Institution in Malheur County. The Department of Corrections announced that a man between the age of 55 and 65 years of age died with COVID-19 at a local hospital Saturday. He is the 15th prisoner to die after testing positive for coronavirus.

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–Eder Campuzano | 503-221-4344 | @edercampuzano | Eder on Facebook

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