UPDATE (12:56 p.m. PT) — New modeling released by the Oregon Health Authority Friday suggests coronavirus transmission has increased since some counties began reopening May 15.
The report, put together by the Institute for Disease Modeling in conjunction with OHA, is based on data through June 18. It estimates that daily coronavirus case levels in the state could rise as much as 20% in a worse case scenario. That translates to 4,850 more new infections per day and 74 more new hospitalizations per day by July 16.
The report states best, moderate and worst case scenarios in the report are all uncertain predictions.
“This latest model provides us with a sobering reminder that we all need to guard against continued spread, especially as we continue to reopen and the weather gets warmer,” Dean Sidelinger, state epidemiologist, said Friday in a call with media members.
Along with a recent rise in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations have also increased, OHA said. Hospitalization data in the state was consistent with a 15% increase in coronavirus transmission after May 15, the report states, and an additional 10% increase after May 22 – the Friday before Memorial Day.
Sidelinger urges Oregonians to avoid large gatherings, especially as the 4th of July holiday approaches.
“Think hard about getting together with people outside of your household. In Oregon, cases accelerated after Memorial Day. We don’t want the same thing to happen after the coming Independence Day holiday,” Sidelinger said.
Sidelinger said people should still be staying six feet apart from others.
“Limit the number of people at the barbeque or picnic, make sure people can stay far enough apart and interact outside as much as possible,” he said.
Oregon confirms 250 new coronavirus diagnoses
Coronavirus diagnoses continued to climb Friday in Oregon, with health officials reporting 250 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. That brings the state’s total to 7,818 known cases.
The bulk of the new cases were in Multnomah County, with 61 cases. OHA reported 39 new cases in Washington County and 17 in Clackamas County. Additionally, there were 22 new cases reported in Umatilla County.
The Oregon Health Authority reported five new deaths Friday, bringing the state’s total to 202 deaths.
As of Friday, 149 people are hospitalized with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state, including 35 who are on ventilators. Coronavirus has led to the hospitalization of 1,022 people in Oregon over the course of the pandemic.
Oregon COVID-19 Map
Jacob Fenton, The Accountability Project at the Investigative Reporting Workshop
Washington state at more than 30,000 cases
Health officials in Clark County, Washington, reported 17 new coronavirus cases Friday. That brings the county’s total to 758. Public health officials did not report any additional deaths, with the total holding at 29.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a mandatory mask order Tuesday in response to increasing case counts and the potential to overwhelm the state’s health care system. Beginning Friday, June 26, all Washingtonians are required to wear face masks in public spaces.
The Washington Department of Health reported 30,367 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state and 1,300 known deaths. As of Thursday coronavirus has led to the hospitalization of 4,106 people in Washington.
Oregon working to address unemployment claims for gig workers
The Oregon Employment Department Thursday said it is adding more staff and resources to process approximately 70,000 unemployment claims under its Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. That program is aimed at addressing gig workers, contract workers, people who are self-employed and others who aren't applicable for regular unemployment benefits.
The department’s acting director, David Gerstenfeld, said OED seeks to process 5,000 PUA claims by the end of this week, increasing its capacity to process 2,500 more claims per week moving forward.
He said the department is aiming to process all of the state’s backlogged PUA claims by Aug. 8.
The department said it has processed 99% of all of the regular unemployment claims it’s received since the beginning of the pandemic.