Benton County among other counties added to COVID-19 watchlist

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Adriana Gutierrez, City Editor

Benton County is now on Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s COVID-19 watchlist as of Friday afternoon, as cases spike in and around Corvallis, Ore. 

The county still remains in phase two, meaning that no extra restrictions will be placed on residents regarding social distancing regulations, but health officials will now be keeping an eye on the spread of cases to determine what resources are needed to bring the number of positive cases back down. 

In a tweet by Gov. Brown yesterday, she stated that both Benton and Clatsop counties had been added to the watch list, and urged Oregon residents to “not let down our guard” as well as attributing her decision to add these counties being due to the increased sporadic cases. 

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Local health officials have defined sporadic cases as the cases which do not have a direct link to other outbreaks, demonstrating that the virus is uncontained. 

The Oregon Health Authority has created a threshold for these kinds of sporadic cases, requiring that counties who report more than 50 per 100,000 residents with COVID-19, must be put on the watchlist. Benton County is currently at 58 per 100,000 as of reports from Sept. 13 – 26. 

Health officials are still determining what the cause of the increase is, and how to bring cases back under the threshold. 

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is provided by officials.