JOSEPH — Face masks are once again being required at the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture because of a surge in coronavirus cases, according to a press release.

The Oregon Health Authority on Wednesday, July 28, reported there were seven news cases in Wallowa County and another three cases Thursday, with state health officials estimating the delta variant is responsible for 80% of the new cases. It comes after there were more than 1,000 new cases reported on Tuesday by the OHA.

Wallowa County's highest one-day total during the pandemic was nine reported on Feb. 9.

It's also the latest in an increase in cases locally, as the county has had 25 new cases in the past week. For the duration of the pandemic, there have been a total of 228 cases in Wallowa County, with 32 of those coming during the month of July.

Six people in the county have died with COVID-19.

The announcement comes as the Josephy Center prepared to open its “Instance in Time” photographic exhibit with a reception at 7 p.m. Friday, July 30. The exhibit runs through Sept. 10.

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