Department of Health Provides COVID-19 Update, Speaks Universal Masking | News

Department of Health Provides COVID-19 Update, Speaks Universal Masking |  News

Local pharmacies throughout the county also have vaccines available. “The vaccines are also available at your local health care providers,” Colson said. “When you schedule an appointment at your doctor’s office, that’ll give you a great time to bring up any questions or concerns or information you might need regarding receiving a vaccine.” Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released Tuesday, July 27, a recommendation of universal mask use in public indoor settings throughout the state to protect Oregonians from COVID-19. This is in response to an increase in cases and new national guidance calling for masking measures to prevent the spread of the delta variant. According to Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state epidemiologist and state health officer, the delta variant has increased tenfold in the past two weeks in Oregon and is estimated to be associated with 80 percent of the new cases in Oregon.

“As 14,629 residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, this places us at 66.6 percent vaccination rate of those eligible to receive the vaccine have at least one dose,” Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Ed Colson said. There have been 14 cases of the delta variant in region 1, which includes Tillamook, Clatsop, Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah and Washington counties. While there is no current data for individual counties regarding the delta variant, Putman said the health department expects it to be in the county.

Appointments for vaccines are available Tuesdays and Thursdays at the health center’s 8th Street annex. Vaccines are free. Call 503-842-3914 to make an appointment. “We’ve had nine, what I call, breakthrough cases,” Putman said. “Those are individuals who have been vaccinated and still test positive. Those occurred between mid-June to July 28.”

Putman said getting vaccinated helps prevent illness, hospitalizations and death. Data shows the delta variant is more contagious than other variants of the virus. Some vaccinated people can get a breakthrough case from the delta variant. In areas with high transmission, CDC recommends everyone wear a mask in indoor spaces. Putman said the health department’s recommendation is to adhere to the recommendation and comply with universal masking in indoor public spaces.

“Oregon Health Authority has passed on the application of these rules to local public health authorities to address what the local response might be,” Putman said. “Our health officer Dr. Melissa Pualisen will be back on Monday and we will have further discussions about what the response might be.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who are vaccinated with currently available vaccines are better protected from the virus and circulating variants, including the delta variant, OHA reported.

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