OHA reports 5 new COVID deaths, 1,072 cases statewide; Brown urges boosters


There are five new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 5,531, Oregon Health Authority reported Friday.

The OHA reported 1,072 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 405,292.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (4), Benton (19), Clackamas (67), Clatsop (3), Columbia (144), Coos (16), Crook (8), Curry (1), Deschutes (73), Douglas (18), Grant (1), Harney (3), Hood River (4), Jackson (43), Jefferson (5), Josephine (32), Klamath (9), Lake (2), Lane (77), Lincoln (6), Linn (45), Malheur (2), Marion (58), Multnomah (212), Polk (19), Tillamook (8), Umatilla (10), Union (1), Wallowa (2), Wasco (6), Washington (143) and Yamhill (31).

Governor Kate Brown urges Oregonians to get booster shots to protect against Omicron

Earlier today, Governor Brown held a press conference to discuss Oregon’s ongoing response to COVID-19. She was joined by OHA Director Patrick Allen and state epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger, as well as representatives from Oregon Health & Science University.

Here is a link to watch the news conference with an American Sign Language simulcast from today.

Here are the talking points from OHA.

Western States Scientific Safety Review Group endorses CDC’s updated COVID-19 vaccine recommendations

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup endorsed updated recommendations made by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the prevention of COVID-19, expressing a clinical preference for people to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine over Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for those 18 years of age and older.

The recommendations were made based on the mRNA vaccines’ greater effectiveness and stronger safety profile. ACIP’s 15-0 decision and recommendations followed a robust discussion of the latest evidence on vaccine effectiveness, vaccine safety and rare adverse events and consideration of the U.S. vaccine supply.

The U.S. supply of mRNA vaccines is abundant — with nearly 100 million doses in the field for immediate use. The updated CDC recommendation follows similar recommendations in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Given the current state of the pandemic both here and around the world, the ACIP reaffirmed that receiving any vaccine is better than being unvaccinated. Individuals who are unable or who prefer not to receive an mRNA vaccine will continue to have access to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine wherever vaccines are provided in Oregon.

“Over the past year since COVID-19 vaccines have available, all three vaccines have been used by people in Oregon, with extensive surveillance on their safety and effectiveness,” said Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director for Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention at OHA.

“Although mRNA vaccines are now generally preferred, there may still be instances when the J&J vaccine may be used, such as with persons who experienced an allergic reaction to a prior mRNA vaccine, or with persons who developed myocarditis or pericarditis from a prior mRNA vaccine. The new guidance also recommends that anyone who had a J&J vaccine as their first dose should get an mRNA vaccine as the booster dose. However, people who are aware of the new guidance can still request a J&J vaccine, if they want one.”

In its announcement, the Western States workgroup emphasized the importance of ensuring adequate supplies of mRNA vaccines, including for hard-to-reach populations; and the importance of ensuring that accurate information concerning the preference for mRNA vaccines be made available in multiple languages and communicated to those seeking vaccination.

In its statement endorsing that J&J vaccine remain available for situations described above, the workgroup affirmed that “the benefits of receiving the [J&J] vaccine outweigh the known risks compared to not receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.”

The workgroup also continued to encourage health care providers and vaccine recipients to report any suspected adverse events following receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).

COVID-19 hospitalizations

St. Charles on Friday reported it had 31 COVID patients; four are in the ICU and three are on ventilators.

Of those 31 patients, 29 are not fully vaccinated. 

**A person is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 ≥ two weeks after receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or ≥ two weeks after receipt of the single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine.**

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 383, which is six fewer than yesterday. There are 103 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is seven more than yesterday.

There are 52 available adult ICU beds out of 693 total (8% availability) and 256 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,112 (6% availability).

12/17/2021 Available Beds (and Percentage of Staffed Beds Available)


Region 1

Region 2

Region 3

Region 5

Region 6

Region 7

Region 9

Adult ICU beds available

















Adult non-ICU beds available

















Statewide regions are as follows:

Region 1: Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook and Washington

Region 2: Benton, Lincoln, Linn, Marion Polk and Yamhill

Region 3: Coos, Curry and Douglas

Region 5: Jackson and Josephine

Region 6: Hood River, Gilliam, Sherman and Wasco

Region 7: Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake and Wheeler

Region 9: Baker, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa

The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.

Note: Please do not visit an emergency department for COVID-19 testing, unless you require emergency care for your symptoms.

Emergency departments in Oregon are under significant strain. You can find a test here. If you have a medical condition that doesn’t require emergency care, contact your provider. An urgent care center may also help you get the care you need and will save emergency departments from added strain.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 26,713 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry Dec. 16. Of that total, 1,990 were initial doses, 1,326 were second doses and 9,372 were third doses and booster doses. The remaining 13,841 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry Dec. 16.

The seven-day running average is now 21,322 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered 3,685,883 doses of Pfizer Comirnaty, 141,455 doses of Pfizer pediatric, 2,413,597 doses of Moderna and 252,017 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

As of today, 3,010,929 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,738,697 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series.

These data are preliminary and subject to change.

Updated vaccination data are provided on Oregon’s COVID-19 data dashboards and have been updated today.



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