The Oregon Health Authority announced 365 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday along with three new deaths, raising the state’s coronavirus death toll to 2,322.
The numbers come as Gov. Kate Brown opted not to accelerate Oregon’s current vaccine timeline in response to President Joe Biden’s directive for states to make all adults eligible for the vaccine by May 1.
Brown is sticking to the plan to begin vaccinating the general population of Oregonians 16 and older by July 1 — a full two months later than Biden now says is possible nationwide. But Brown said she wants to see Oregon’s weekly federal vaccine shipments actually increase before she makes any new promises to residents.
The next group of Oregonians to qualify for the vaccine is those age 45 and older who have underlying conditions “with increased risk,” such as pregnancy, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Meanwhile, Oregon reported fewer coronavirus cases last week than at any point since September. But unfortunately, cases aren’t continuing their downward trajectory.
Cases are rising again — something state officials acknowledged was possible with relaxed business restrictions and more contagious variants of the virus circulating. The state appears on track to surpass last week’s low when the current week’s numbers are released.
Where the new cases are by county: Baker (2), Benton (2), Clackamas (46), Clatsop (4), Columbia (1), Coos (15), Curry (5), Deschutes (15), Douglas (13), Grant (3), Jackson (30), Josephine (23), Klamath (15), Lane (12), Lincoln (2), Linn (5), Malheur (2), Marion (31), Multnomah (59), Polk (5), Tillamook (5), Umatilla (10), Union (6), Wasco (2), Washington (47), Wheeler (1) and Yamhill (4).
Who died: Oregon’s 2,320th COVID-19 death is an 89-year-old Clackamas County man who tested positive March 11 and died March 12 at Providence Portland Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.
The 2,321st death is a 68-year-old Lane County man who tested positive Jan. 24 and died March 10 at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart. He had underlying conditions.
The 2,322nd death is a 95-year-old Multnomah County man who became symptomatic after contact with a confirmed case and died March 1 at his residence. The date of symptom onset and presence of underlying conditions are being confirmed.
The prevalence of infections: On Saturday, the state reported 515 new positive tests out of 14,454 tests performed, equaling a 3.6% positivity rate.
Who’s in the hospital: The state reported 104 Oregonians with confirmed coronavirus infections were hospitalized Saturday, 19 fewer than Friday. Of those, 23 coronavirus patients were in intensive care units — a figure that has not changed from Friday.
Vaccines administered: Oregon has administered 1,301,968 first and second vaccine doses out of 1,575,705 received, which is about 82.6% of the state’s supply. Oregon reported 32,429 newly administered doses, which includes 18,556 on Friday and the remainder from previous days.
Since it began: Oregon has reported 159,392 confirmed or presumed infections and 2,322 deaths, among the lowest per capita numbers in the nation. To date, the state has reported over 3,953,338 lab reports from tests.
— Jaimie Ding
[email protected]; 503-221-4395; @j_dingdingding