Coronavirus in Oregon: Cases up as fatigue sets in

www.oregonlive.com
5 min read
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The state reports 1,517 new known cases and 10 deaths.
Oregon on Friday reported 10 COVID-19 deaths and 1,517 new known cases, continuing a very short but concerning rise in cases over the past few days. That comes amid an Oregon Health & Science University forecast that says more Oregonians are once again engaging in riskier behaviors that promote viral spread.

In his most recent COVID-19 forecast Thursday, OHSU data scientist Peter Graven says fatigue over public health safety measures is once again setting in. Although mask usage is still holding steady at about 50% for unvaccinated people and 90% for vaccinated people, he's seen slight upticks in riskier viral behaviors, such as dining in at restaurants and bars and socializing indoors with people outside one's household. Graven thinks the small increase in new infections over the past few days is likely due to that fatigue.

Although Graven's forecast doesn't try to estimate the number of new infections in coming weeks and months, it predicts they will decline and so will hospitalized COVID-19 patients. But Graven anticipates that those declines will be slower than previously expected because the public is acting less cautiously.

Friday, hospitalizations stood at 537, less than half of the number from early September. Graven's forecast predicts hospitalizations won't drop below 400 until around Thanksgiving.

Graven said the level of precautions many people are taking now is similar to the level in July, when Oregon had just re-opened and the delta variant hadn't hit the state hard yet.

"Normally that would cause us to have a surge, but because we have such high immunity levels all it really ends up doing is slowing down the ...decrease," Graven said. That's because more people are vaccinated and more have natural immunity, he said.

"It's basically pretty good news," Graven said. The one caveat? If a new, more contagious…
Aimee Green | The Oregonian/OregonLive
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