What does fewer cases mean in Phase 1?

By on Sunday, May 10th, 2020 in Columbia Basin News

UMATILLA COUNTY – Gov. Kate Brown has a list of conditions that must be met before Phase 1 of the COVID-19 reopening plan can begin. Umatilla County Medical Officer Dr. Jon Hitzman said one of the requirements is a decrease in the number of cases.

“Anybody who is following the local data has seen a recent uptick in the number of cases that we’ve had,” Hitzman said. “Those do not count against us from the state standpoint.”

He said that the number is going up because more tests are available and more people are being tested. The state numbers for a decrease in cases is based on hospital admissions and emergency room visits. Testing has also ticked up in the county.

“We’ve arbitrarily at this point set a number of 30 tests per 10,000 people each week,” he said. “Interpath Lab can certainly help us out locally.” Hitzman added that the county also has a strong contact tracing program in place.