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House parties partly behind Lane County COVID-19 spike

Lane County reported that coronavirus cases amongst college-aged young adults are on a sharp increase due to house parties and other large gatherings.

Posted: Jul 2, 2020 3:03 PM
Updated: Jul 2, 2020 6:35 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Lane County reported that coronavirus cases amongst college-aged young adults are on a sharp increase due to house parties and other large gatherings.

According to Lane County Public Health spokesperson Jason Davis, 42 college-age individuals have been connected to three clusters that revolve around house parties. The most recent cluster was associated with a four-day house party in Seaside. 

Meanwhile, the number of University of Oregon students with COVID-19 rose to 26 on Thursday. According to Davis, some of these UO students have been connected to house parties, but the label "college-age" applies to many others too.

"Students from other universities or colleges, there are individuals who are college-age who are not attending school. So really, it's not a U of O cluster, we don't want to send that message out there. It's a college-age cluster," he said.

While the average coronavirus-positive person had around four contacts as reopening began, officials said these college-age individuals have had contact with as many as 28 people. Of those contacts, about half are developing coronavirus.

UO graduate student Austin Seroka believes that most graduate and undergraduate students are taking the pandemic seriously, but a small fraction are still engaging in partying.

"At least through social media, I've seen a lot of different events happening. A lot of people are out. And if you drive through the residential areas at night you can hear a lot of parties going on," he said.

According to Davis, it is best that individuals stay with their household members, but if somebody must go to a large gathering, social distancing and mask-usage can still be effective.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20224

Reported Deaths: 339
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