OHA reports 220 new COVID cases; Deschutes Co. numbers down for 4th straight week

COVID-19 has claimed three more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 420, the Oregon Health Authority reported Monday.

The OHA reported 220 new confirmed and presumptive cases Monday bringing the state total to 25,155.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (22), Columbia (1), Coos (1), Deschutes (1), Jackson (23), Jefferson (7), Josephine (1), Klamath (2), Lane (2), Malheur (7), Marion (33), Morrow (2), Multnomah (59), Polk (2), Umatilla (11), Washington (34), and Yamhill (12).

Deschutes County reported 15 additional cases since Friday to bring its total to 672. Eleven people have died from COVID complications and 445 have recovered.

COVID cases have declined in Deschutes County for four straight weeks. Last week’s total (Sun-Sat) of 32 was the fewest since late June.

Crook County hasn’t reported a new case since Wednesday and Its total remains at 54 with one death.

Jefferson County added 12 cases since Friday to bring its total to 448; six people have died.

St. Charles on Monday reported three COVID patients and none were in the ICU.

OHA Releases Weekly Testing Report

OHA released its Weekly Testing Report Monday, which showed that as of August 22, Oregon’s cumulative positive testing rate is 4.5 percent of people tested.

This is considerably lower than the national average of 9 percent. Of the 24,177 people tested the week of Aug. 16-22, 1,233 (5.1%) were positive.

The total for that week is likely to rise as test results continue to be reported to OHA. It is reassuring that test positivity is relatively stable, which suggests that the number of people newly infected with COVID-19 each week is no longer increasing rapidly.

Data note: In last week’s Testing Summary, OHA reported 25,646 tests performed in the week of Aug. 9–15. As results have continued to be reported to OHA, in today’s summary the total for that week has risen to 33,009. Such lags are expected as OHA is now publishing testing data by the date on which specimens were collected. As such, prior weeks’ data are being updated continuously.

Medicaid enrollment increases by more than 100,000 members since March

Last week, the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) had an increase of 4,016 members, bringing the total number of members to 1,180,497.

Since the March 8 emergency declaration, OHP’s enrollment has increased by more than 100,000 members or 9.3 percent.

About 1 in 4 of the additional members are new enrollments to OHP. The rest of the increase is due to a policy change that keeps the vast majority of members enrolled in the program during this national emergency. Since the end of March, people exiting the program decreased by around 75 percent from 20,000 people a month to about 5,000 a month. Adults eligible for OHP through the Affordable Care Act have made up about 60 percent of the program’s growth, and children covered by Medicaid account for about 25 percent of the growth.

Federal funding has increased to support states’ increases in the program. This 6.2 percent increase in federal Medicaid matching funds has covered and is projected to cover Oregon’s enrollment increases through the end of the year.

The Oregon Health Authority has made several changes to its Medicaid program to support health care access for Oregonians during the response to COVID-19. These changes include:

  • Individuals can sign up for OHP without having to verify their income (submit a pay stub) with their application. They can self-attest, which helps Oregonians get access to OHP coverage more quickly.
  • Most members who are currently enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan will not lose coverage during this crisis.
  • Federal stimulus payments and increased unemployment payments will not affect OHP eligibility. They will not be counted during the application process or when members report a change in their household.

OHP provides free physical, dental and behavioral health coverage to Oregonians who qualify. For more information about applying for OHP, go to OHP.Oregon.gov.

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