Baker County reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county's total to 15.
The cases were the first since July 14, the day before the Oregon Health Authority added Baker County to eight other counties on a “watch list” due to sporadic cases — ones not directly tied to an outbreak.
Mark Bennett, the county commissioner acting as incident commander for the county during the pandemic, said Monday afternoon that no one is hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19. No one in the county has died from the virus.
Bennett said contact tracers from the county Health Department are investigating the two new cases.
Bennett also urged county residents to be cautious when traveling outside the county, in particular to places with recent outbreaks.
Bennett said some of the Baker County residents were infected outside the county. He didn’t say how many were in that category, but that the list doesn’t include the five U.S. Forest Service employees who are among the county’s 15 cases.
“A lot of it is just being prudent and exercising good judgment,” Bennett said.
He encouraged residents, whether they travel outside the county or not, to continue to practice social distancing and to wear face coverings when they can’t stay at least 6 feet from others when in social settings or while visiting local businesses.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, as of Tuesday 736 Baker County residents had tested negative for the virus. That's about 4.3% of the county's population of 16,800.