OHA reports 331 new cases; long-term care facilities to get free vaccines when available

COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 635, the Oregon Health Authority reported Wednsday.

The OHA  reported 331 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 40,443.

The new cases are in the following counties: Baker (1), Clackamas (27), Columbia (2), Coos (4), Crook (2), Deschutes (9), Douglas (7), Harney (2), Hood River (3), Jackson (36), Josephine (1), Lane (40), Linn (6), Malheur (8), Marion (43), Multnomah (56), Polk (2), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (19), Union (2), Wasco (1), Washington (55) and Yamhill (4).

Deschutes County has reported 1,074 cases and 13 deaths.

Crook County has reported 87 cases and two deaths.

Jefferson County has reported 597 cases and nine deaths.

St. Charles reported Wednesday it has five COVID patients; two are in the ICU.

SCHOOL METRIC WATCH:

Each day we will be posting the Sunday-Saturday running tally of COVID cases in Deschutes County* as they relate to the weekly metrics many are watching for kids to return to school.

Counties need to have 30 or fewer cases per 100,000 people to bring kids back in grades K-3. With about 200,000 residents, Deschutes County’s target number is 60 or fewer total cases.

So far this week, Deschutes County has reported 33 cases since Sunday.

* The final weekly tally reported by the OHA may differ based on a variety of factors.

OHA reports slight drop in weekly cases

The Oregon Health Authority also released its COVID-19 Weekly Report Wednesday.

For the week of Monday, Oct.12 through Sunday, Oct.18, OHA recorded 2,327 new daily cases, a 4% decline from the previous week’s pandemic high of 2,418.

The number of newly tested Oregonians rose to 28,960, as did those who tested positively, to 6.5%.

Twenty-seven COVID-19 associated deaths were reported during the week—compared to 25 during the previous week. And people hospitalized with the virus remained the same at 143.

The age group with the highest incidence of reported infection has been in persons aged 20 to 49. They represent 39% of Oregon’s population and they account for 56% of COVID-19 cases.

Hospitalization and death rates increase with age, with persons 80 or older accounting for 51% of COVID-19 associated deaths.

Oregon long-term care facilities can get no-cost COVID-19 vaccines when they become available

Oregon Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority are notifying long-term care facilities and small congregate settings that their residents and employees can get no-cost COVID-19 vaccinations when a vaccine becomes available, as part of a partnership between the federal government and two large, commercial pharmacies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Oct. 16 that it was partnering with CVS and Walgreens to provide on-site COVID-19 vaccinations for residents of long-term care facilities — nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, residential care facilities, adult foster care homes and other community-based care facilities, such as group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Employees also could get the vaccine through this program, but the CDC says they likely would receive it earlier than residents based on a recommendation to prioritize vaccination for health care personnel; any employee who did not already receive the vaccine could be vaccinated through the on-site clinics.

Registration to participate is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Oct. 29. Long-term care facilities that opt out of or don’t register for the clinics must provide an alternate plan, such as using their own on-site pharmacy to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to residents and employees, although these facilities would be responsible for all “end-to-end” processes and equipment, such as on-site storage, vaccination and reporting.

“This HHS program will be important in building our state’s vaccination capacity once a vaccine is approved, and it will help facilitate efficient vaccination of the long-term care population,” said Paul Cieslak, M.D., medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at the OHA Public Health Division. “As a result, it will ease the burden on long-term care facilities for administering the vaccine to protect our most vulnerable population, and on local public health authorities that would otherwise be heavily involved in this process.”

Cieslak noted that 44% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents of long-term care facilities.

Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities can sign up for the on-site clinics at the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) website, but they must first be enrolled in the NHSN COVID-19 Module for Long Term Care Facilities, https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/ltc/covid19/enroll.html. All other facilities will sign up via this online sign up form. Facilities that opt out of the program may be able to opt in later by emailing eocevent494@cdc.gov.

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