LA GRANDE — Union County has been moved from the governor's county watch list and deemed by the state to have its spread of COVID-19 under control.

A press release from the governor's office Thursday, July 30, noted that Lincoln and Union counties — two that had major outbreaks in early June — "have succeeded in reducing the spread of COVID-19 sufficiently enough to be removed from the County Watch List."

The number of counties on the watch list currently is at 10: Baker, Hood River, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Marion, Morrow Multnomah, Umatilla and Wasco.

The release credited Union and Lincoln county efforts to slow community spread in the wake of the outbreaks that sent them to, at one point, being the top two counties in the state in terms of cases per capita.

"I want to applaud county officials and community members in Lincoln and Union counties for their diligent work in bringing the spread of COVID-19 under control in these areas. Your leadership shows that we can reduce the spread of this disease if we work together," Gov. Kate Brown said in the release.

The news comes on a day that the Center for Human Development reported the first case in Union County in more than a week, ending an eight-day stretch without a new case. The county currently has 386 cases.

The state reported 416 new cases — the third highest total since the pandemic started and fifth time with more than 400 — which sent the state total to 18,131. There were five additional deaths, moving that count to 316.

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