Oregon making ‘tremendous progress’ against COVID as transmission rate falls

COVID-19 has claimed five more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 475, the Oregon Health Authority reported Friday.

The OHA reported 268 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 27,601.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (4), Clackamas (18), Clatsop (1), Coos (1), Crook (2), Curry (1), Deschutes (2), Hood River (2), Jackson (12), Jefferson (1), Josephine (6), Lake (2), Lane (22), Linn (5), Malheur (31), Marion (44), Morrow (6), Multnomah (43), Polk (3), Tillamook (2), Umatilla (32), Union (1), Wasco (2), Washington (23), and Yamhill (2).

Deschutes County has now reported 699 cases and 11 deaths. Nearly 630 patients have recovered.

Crook County has reported 57 cases and one death while Jefferson County has reported 468 cases and seven deaths.

St. Charles on Friday reported four COVID patients; two are in the ICU and on a ventilator.

OHA Releases Modeling Update

OHA released its latest modeling report Thursday showing that the current rate of transmission has fallen to a point where each case is generating less than one other case. For this reason, daily case numbers are dropping.

“This is tremendous progress, but it will only continue if we keep up the pressure,” said Dean Sidelinger, MD, state health officer and state epidemiologist. “We cannot ease up and allow Labor Day social gatherings to send our rate back up. This virus remains extremely contagious and spreads very quickly. It would not take much for cases to rise again.”

The model looked at the following scenarios:

  • If the transmission rate continues as it is today, then by Sept. 24, the new daily cases would drop to 410 from today’s 560, resulting in diagnosis of about approximately 150 of those cases. There would be six severe cases per day and the reproduction rate is 0.9 in this scenario, indicating that each case generates 0.9 others on average.
  • If the rate of transmission were to drop by 5 percent, by Sept. 24, the model estimates 240 daily cases with diagnosis of roughly 90 of them and five severe cases per day. In this scenario the reproduction rate would be slightly lower at 0.77.
  • If the transmission rate were to rise by 5 percent from current levels, then by Sept. 24, each case would generate 1.05 new cases, and daily cases would rise to 790, with 180 diagnosed per day. Severe cases would rise to 11 per day.

“The takeaway from our modeling this week is very clear: We’ve made great progress through hard work and sacrifice, but those gains are tenuous,” added Dr. Sidelinger. “It’s on every one of us to maintain the progress we’ve made against COVID-19, and together we can do it.”

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