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Coronavirus in Oregon: 437 cases, 32 new deaths as 2 restaurants fined for COVID violations

The Oregon Health Authority reported 437 new cases of the coronavirus Wednesday.

The agency also reported 32 new deaths. The new figures were announced as two restaurants on the Oregon coast were fined for willfully exposing their workers to the virus, as well as other COVID-19 violations.

The restaurants, both in Florence, face a combined total of nearly $36,000 in fines.

A state investigation found that The Little Brown Hen, a Florence cafe, had been operating indoor dining since at least Dec. 26, despite being in an “extreme risk” county at the time. Several protesters, including one carrying a gun, threatened inspectors at the door on Jan. 4 and followed them to their cars, a state news release on Tuesday said. The restaurant was fined $17,800.

The state also announced Wednesday that it had fined the Firehouse Restaurant for similar conduct, placing its employees at risk despite a temporary ban on indoor dining in Lane County. Inspectors also found some residents were encouraging people to threaten or harm compliance officers if they inspected the restaurant, according to a news release from Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The restaurant was fined $18,150.

Where the new cases are by county: Baker (6), Benton (22), Clackamas (38), Clatsop (6), Columbia (10), Coos (16), Crook (8), Curry (1), Deschutes (28), Douglas (28), Jackson (27), Jefferson (7), Josephine (20), Klamath (4), Lane (33), Lincoln (2), Linn (6), Malheur (3), Marion (33), Morrow (5), Multnomah (55), Polk (11), Sherman (1), Tillamook (3), Umatilla (15), Union (1), Wasco (1), Washington (41) and Yamhill (6).

Who died: The state health authority did not immediately provide details about the deaths reported Wednesday. The agency said details would be provided “at a later time” but declined to say when.

Prevalence of infections: The state reported 417 new positive tests out of 15,528 new tests performed Wednesday. That’s a 2.6% positivity rate.

Who got infected: New confirmed or presumed infections grew among the following age groups: 0-9 (34); 10-19 (63); 20-29 (86); 30-39 (64); 40-49 (58); 50-59 (42); 60-69 (39); 70-79 (21); 80 and older (8).

Who’s in the hospital: The state reported 162 Oregonians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, three fewer than Tuesday. There are 46 coronavirus patients in intensive care, two more than the previous day.

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