REDMOND — A spike in reported coronavirus cases in Redmond last week has been tied to family and social gatherings in the area.

The Oregonian newspaper’s breakdown of last week’s coronavirus cases by ZIP code in Oregon showed eight new cases of COVID-19. That brought Redmond up to only 18 reported cases but amounted to an 80% change over the previous week — the largest jump in the state.

Public health officials in Deschutes County have said most of the county’s newer cases can be traced to social gatherings with extended family, like barbecues and celebrations.

Morgan Emerson, preparedness coordinator with Deschutes County Health Services, said 18 of the county’s 25 new cases reported last week could be traced back to family or social gatherings, including some of the coronavirus cases in Redmond.

“Some of this rise is due to multi-household gatherings,” Emerson said. “We have seen similar trends of cases associated with attending family and social gatherings in other areas of Deschutes County as well.”

Emerson said those cases predate Deschutes County’s recent approval for Oregon’s Phase 1 reopening plan. The majority of new cases came from known contacts, not strangers, she said.

State officials have urged people to stay close to home and avoid large gatherings with anyone outside of their own household.

“Even if you’re healthy, going to a large Memorial Day barbecue, a large event, many extended households getting together — this isn’t the year,” Emerson said.

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