Community Spread Remains Factor in Rise of Covid-19 in Canby

After surging to the top of the list of highest case counts in Clackamas County primarily because of a large outbreak of Covid-19 at the Marquis Hope Village Post-Acute Rehab Center last month, Canby has remained there because of “community spread” — a term used by public health officials to mean new infections that cannot be linked to any known outbreak at a workplace or gathering.

In the Oregon Health Authority’s latest report Wednesday, there were no new cases reported for Marquis Hope Village for the third straight week. Yet, 17 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus were linked to the Canby ZIP code, bringing the total to 41 for that three-week period.

Seventeen also appears to be the highest weekly increase the community has seen that couldn’t be tied to Marquis Hope Village, which the state no longer considers active but remains the second-largest outbreak of Covid-19 at an Oregon long-term care facility, with 112 cases and 11 deaths.

Of those 112 cases, 33 were residents, while the remainder were employees and their family members and other close contacts — who may or may not live in Canby (and thus be included in the community’s total). All 11 deaths are believed to have been residents, but only nine actually happened at Marquis Hope Village and could be confirmed by the facility.

Canby has now seen 159 confirmed cases — the second-highest in the county behind neighboring Oregon City’s 171. Canby’s per capita infection rate, though, is much higher because of population differences: 70.1 per 10,000 residents vs. 33.3 for Oregon City.

Canby’s infection rate is almost exactly twice that of the state’s as a whole (35 cases per 10,000 Oregonians).

Molalla also has a high rate of infection, 38.4 cases per 10,000, which is the second-highest in the county. Only one small workplace outbreak has been tied to the area this month: six cases at the Interfor lumber mill. Its total cases are at 58 — up three from the previous week.

Wilsonville saw 14 news cases in the week ending Sunday, July 19. Its total rose from 47 to 61, with an infection rate of 29.1.

Total case counts are cumulative and compiled over the course of the Covid-19 outbreak. Some cases are likely to have recovered, but the exact number is unknown. The OHA does not report deaths, recoveries, hospitalizations, the total numbers tested, or any other demographic information at the level of city or ZIP code.

Statewide, the percentage of tests that come back positive increased from 6.2 percent to 6.6. Hospitalizations have increased since the beginning of June but the daily admissions of 15 to 20 are still below the March and April peaks of 20 to 25 per day, despite reported daily case counts more than three times as high.

Officials said this is most likely due to detection and testing that has greatly improved since the early days of the pandemic, and an increased infection rate in young, healthy people — who are at much lower risk for hospitalization or death.

In Oregon, half of all cases are from people under the age of 40, and those in their 20s and 30s are now the group most likely to get sick with Covid-19.

ICU bed usage remains well below capacity statewide.

Photo by stefano rosselli on Scopio.

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