SALEM, Ore. — Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths all rose last week over the week prior, according to the latest from the Oregon Health Authority, as increasingly contagious variants of the virus spread unhindered across the US.
The OHA's weekly report identified 2,026 new cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, July 12 through Sunday, July 18. This represented a 54 percent increase over the week prior and the highest weekly tally in seven weeks. Test positivity rates rose to 4.2 percent from 3.4 percent the week before.
New hospitalizations for COVID-19 rose to 123, up from 104 the previous week. There were 29 deaths attributed to the virus, up from 15 the previous week.
Just over 2.45 million Oregonians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of July 20, comprising 57.5 percent of the state's total population (not eligible population).
"Case rates have generally been higher in counties with lower COVID-19 vaccination rates. During the week of July 11–17, case rates in 15 counties exceeded the statewide average of 44.9 cases per 100,000 population," OHA said.
All 15 of the counties identified by OHA had an overall population with vaccination rates below 55 percent, and 13 had rates lower than 47 percent.
Jackson and Josephine counties have among the highest case rates in the state by population, and both saw major increases last week over the week prior. Last week, Josephine County had a case rate of 125.8 per 100,000 in population, versus 75.1 the week before. Jackson County rose to 81.1 per 100,000 in population, up from 44.8 the previous week.
Vaccination rates vary across southern Oregon counties, but none have succeeded in vaccinating more than 56 percent of adults, far from Oregon's new aspiration of vaccinating 80 percent of people. Jackson County would need to vaccinate more than 46,000 additional people to hit that goal.
Curry County has the highest vaccination rate of southern Oregon counties, with 55 percent of adults having received at least one dose. Josephine County is at 48 percent, Jackson County at 54 percent, Klamath County at 47 percent, and Lake County at 37 percent — tied with Malheur County for the lowest vaccination rate in Oregon.