Health officials and Gov. Kate Brown continue to urge people to get vaccinated. “This grim trend follows several weeks of record, or near record, daily cases and hospitalizations,” Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said on Wednesday. “Oregonians should be prepared to see this tragic toll escalate dramatically in coming days and weeks.” Currently 67% of the states adult population are fully vaccinated. But in some parts of the state — seven of Oregon’s 36 counties — 50% or less of the adult population remain unvaccinated.
The latest projections from the Oregon Health & Science University, released last week, shows that while hospitalizations have peaked, the current COVID-19 surge is far from over. The new forecast predicts that hospitals across the state will remain under severe strain for the next two to three months. Oregon is in the midst of its worst COVID-19 surge since the start of the pandemic — which health officials say is fueled by unvaccinated people and the highly transmissible delta variant.
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In addition, the health officials have reported “sharp increases” in daily deaths associated with COVID-19. Between Friday and Sunday, health officials say there were 32 deaths due to COVID-19. To date, the state’s death toll since the start of the pandemic is 3,446.
Sara Cline is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
—- In an attempt to ramp up vaccination efforts staff and volunteers in K-12 schools, health care workers and state employees in Oregon are required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18.
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