▶️ ‘Same patterns reemerging over time’ as Deschutes Co. COVID cases remain high

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COVID cases were down 13% across the country over the last week.

“We are seeing progress in terms of decreased cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

In Oregon, health officials say the state is past its fourth wave.

“This latest wave of COVID-19 cases seem to be cresting and today 15 counties will be moving out of our extreme risk category,” said Gov. Kate Brown.

But in Deschutes County, it’s a much different story.

“People keep asking why is this different and really from our standpoint and our case investigators we are seeing those same patterns reemerging over time,” said Emily Freeland COVID Operation Section Chief for Deschutes County Public Health.

Freeland says those patterns include social gatherings, going out while sick, not wearing masks and not social distancing.

A spike in cases has been seen in people aged 15-to-30.

“So, when you think about when everyone was able to get their first dose of the vaccination for the general population, that didn’t happen too long ago,” said Freeland. “So we haven’t had time for all of those people to get fully vaccinated and we have certainly seen more spread in those younger populations.”

More of that group is getting vaccinated, as hundreds of local high school students got their shots recently at clinics on campus.

Even though Deschutes County has the 5th highest vaccination rate in the state, more COVID cases (547) were reported last week than any week during the pandemic.

This week the county is on track to reach around 500 COVID cases.

Oregon Public Health’s State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger says vaccinations and COVID precautions are helping the state’s case numbers.

“Daily cases and COVID-related hospitalizations have fallen slightly from the peak we experienced in mid-April,” said Sidelinger. “Our most recent weekly report showed a 3% decline in cases after five weeks of twenty plus percentage gains. Hospitalizations have also dropped 3% this last week.”

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