State health officials have halted plans for a smartphone-based exposure notification app, to focus on vaccinations and other priorities.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on Tuesday reported 33 more COVID-19 deaths, the most reported in a single day since mid-February, and 544 new cases of the virus.

The state has reported 167,658 cases since the start of the pandemic, including 2,427 deaths. 

Of the counties that reported new cases Tuesday, Washington County had the most with 97, followed by Clackamas County with 86. It’s worth noting that neither of these counties reported new cases on Monday. Here’s a county-by-county breakdown: 

Baker (4), Benton (11), Clackamas (86), Clatsop (1), Columbia (5), Coos (10), Crook (2), Curry (2), Deschutes (35), Douglas (7), Grant (9), Harney (3), Hood River (2), Jackson (33), Jefferson (2), Josephine (12), Klamath (21), Lane (41), Lincoln (3), Linn (17), Malheur (4), Marion (36), Multnomah (68), Polk (10), Sherman (1), Tillamook (7), Umatilla (8), Union (4), Wasco (1), Washington (97) and Yamhill (2).  

Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday that six Oregon counties, including Multnomah and Clackamas, will move from moderate risk to high risk when the state’s new COVID-19 risk levels begin on Friday, April 9.

RELATED: As COVID-19 spread continues, Gov. Brown updates vaccine timeline again

Oregon pauses exposure notification app 

This week, OHA announced it has paused planning for a smartphone app that would use Bluetooth to alert Oregonians if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. 

OHA reached the decision after consulting Gov. Brown’s office.

The app, which the state had planned to launch in January, was put on hold for the state to “focus on vaccinations and other priority efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” OHA said in a news release. 

RELATED: ‘We are at a critical moment in this pandemic’: Here are the current Oregon COVID risk levels

Following six months of discussions about the app with local health departments and other partners, OHA noted “intensive efforts state and local health officials would need to undertake to promote the app” and “likely gaps in its adoption across Oregon’s diverse communities.”

“Approximately two dozen states have chosen not to deploy smartphone-based apps at this time and instead to rely on other tools to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said OHA public health director Rachael Banks. “Oregon is focused on building trust with people in communities across the state to get all Oregonians vaccinated and sustain the other COVID-19 prevention practices, such as wearing a mask, staying physically distant and limiting the size and frequency of indoor social get-togethers. These strategies have prevented more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in our state. We’ll continue to prioritize these approaches because they remain our best bet to end the pandemic.”

Washington state launched its exposure notification app back in November. 


On Tuesday, OHA reported that another 32,955 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Oregon. The state has now administered 1,040,314 doses of Pfizer, 938,182 doses of Moderna and 51,618 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. More than 784,000 Oregonians are fully vaccinated and more than 1,290,000 have received at least one dose. 

To date, 1,306,305 doses of Pfizer, 1,187,500 doses of Moderna and 168,100 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been delivered to sites across Oregon.

RELATED: COVID vaccine: Here’s where to get it in Oregon and Washington


There are 163 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon, which is 14 fewer than Monday. Forty-two of those patients are in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, the same number as Monday.


At the time this article was written, OHA had not released details about the 33 people whose deaths were reported Tuesday.