UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County recorded its seventh death from COVID-19 as virus cases continue to shoot up in the county.

Umatilla County Public Health announced on Tuesday, July 7, that the latest death was a 83-year-old man with underlying health conditions who died at his home. The man died on July 3, but was diagnosed postmortem after his death on July 4.

The county also announced 49 new positive cases, in addition to two new presumptive cases, bringing the county’s total case count to 834.

The county’s hospitalization count fell to 12, but the gap between the number of sick patients and recoveries continues to grow in the wrong direction, as the former now outnumbers the latter 495 to 332.

The 788 confirmed cases come from a total of 5,431 tests, which means 15% of the tests that are analyzed are coming back positive.

The other 44 cases are considered presumptive, which means a person is starting to show symptoms after being exposed to a previously confirmed case but has not yet tested positive for the virus yet.

The county continued to encourage residents to stay home if they feel sick, but Morrow County made a very specific point in its latest press release — wear a mask.

“The bottom line is, wearing masks when you are around others inside, and also outside, if you cannot maintain the social distance of 6 feet, will help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the press release states. “This of course is the goal if we do not want kids out of school longer and businesses lost. While we do not know what the situation will be with our schools this fall, we do know, if our numbers continue to climb, it will not be school as usual.”

Morrow County’s update from July 6 shows that there are now 107 cases, with most coming from the Boardman and Irrigon areas. One resident has died from COVID-19 in the county and one person remains in the hospital.

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is reporting 21 cases from 605 tests, which translates to a 3% positive rate.

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