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Updated projection shows continued surge of COVID-19 in Oregon

Oregonians slowly responding to dire projections
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An updated projection of the current surge in COVID-19 continues to show a dire situation in Oregon, with the state still expected to be short between 400 and 500 staffed hospital beds by Labor Day weekend.

Today’s latest forecast from Oregon Health & Science University reveals essentially the same trajectory from OHSU’s previous projection that was announced on Aug. 10. Hospitalizations and case rates have tracked closely with previous OHSU forecasts, and the new forecast continues to show hospitalizations for COVID-19 rising to about 1,075 by Sept. 3, compared to the 838 people hospitalized statewide as of today.

Vaccination rates remain relatively flat.

“The fifth wave of the pandemic in Oregon remains much more severe than previous surges,” said Peter Graven, Ph.D., lead data scientist in OHSU’s Business Intelligence unit. “Every action to flatten the curve will help us avoid overwhelming our hospitals and ensure all Oregonians have access to medical care when they need it.”

Graven said it’s too early to tell whether recent policy actions at the state level, including a statewide indoor mask mandate imposed last week, have made any difference in terms of the number of people with severe illness or dying.

Cases and hospitalizations continue to rise as the much more contagious delta variant continues to spread rapidly, especially among communities with lower rates of vaccinations.

As of Aug. 16, patients with COVID-19 accounted for more than a third of the state’s total capacity for intensive care – 206 out of 606 occupied ICU beds – further straining hospitals’ ability to deliver care for all Oregonians. The great majority of those cases appear to be unvaccinated.

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