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The COVID-19 virus.

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Oregon marked another record in the pandemic on Friday, with the state health authority reporting nearly 11,000 new cases of COVID-19 in one day. As omicron’s grip on Oregon remains tight, the Oregon Health Authority now says the projected peak for hospitalizations will be about 1,500 in early February. While Oregon is seeing gaining cases and hospitalizations week after week due to the omicron variant of the coronavirus, state health leaders are urging Oregonians to stay vigilant with safety precautions and fighting pandemic fatigue.

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Here are the top headlines and latest updates on the ongoing spread of the coronavirus in Oregon.

Nearly 11,000 new cases

The Oregon Health Authority reported 10,947 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the state’s highest single-day total to date.

While there may be early signs the omicron wave is beginning to level off in the metro areas where it spread first, cases are surging in more rural areas, where residents are more likely to be elderly and unvaccinated, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger.

Hospitals are treating more than 1,000 patients with COVID-19, a total that’s nearing the peak during the delta surge.

“This is a tragic time for Oregon,” Sidelinger said. “There is some light at the end of this very dark tunnel. The recent modeling suggests that cases could peak within the next week or so with hospitalizations — a lagging indicator — peaking in the following weeks.”

Sidelinger argued the critical element of reaching the peak of the current surge is Oregonians’ continued compliance with safety measures, especially when it comes to wearing face coverings.

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Read the full story: Oregon sets new daily COVID case record, state epidemiologist defends indoor mask rule

A particularly hard hit county

While Oregon saw a new high statewide number of COVID-19 cases reported Friday, a county along the Oregon Coast has faced a steady challenge through January.

Lincoln County is experiencing a record number of new cases of COVID-19, according to health officials. Nearly a quarter of the county’s total cases since the beginning of the pandemic were reported in the last three weeks.

“This wave far surpasses any wave we have had thus far,” reads a report on cases released by Lincoln County Public Health on Thursday.

Susan Trachsel with Lincoln County Public Health said they’re no longer able to do contact tracing.

Read the full story: Lincoln County overwhelmed by surge in COVID cases

Possible good news for Portland schools

Portland Public Schools officials announced Friday afternoon they’re extending distance learning for three middle schools: George, Kellogg and Tubman after they spent all this week learning online for COVID-19 related reasons. At the same time, the district says, it’s ready to open in-person instruction at six schools Monday — including four high schools.

Student and staff absences have played a key role in closing schools. Over the last week, absence rates for students and staff have been high, but seem to be decreasing.

Read the full story: Portland weighs options for schools as student, staff absences appear to wane

Pending any new information received Saturday, this story may be updated.

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Lincoln County overwhelmed by surge in COVID cases

Lincoln County is experiencing a record number of new cases of COVID-19, according to health officials. Nearly a quarter of the county's total cases since the beginning of the pandemic were reported in the last three weeks.