PORTLAND, Ore. — A new modeling report from the Oregon Health Authority suggests that COVID-19 cases will continue to drop through early November, but there's a clear disparity in who is doing the heavy lifting by taking the necessary precautions in order to continue the trend.
OHA's report found that the effective reproduction rate, which measure the expected number of secondary cases that a single case generates was at about .90 on October 6, slightly lower than projected last week. This means that the average person infected with COVID-19 spread it to just one other person, and in some cases none.
"At that level of transmission, the report estimates 255 cases per 100,000 people, or an average of 770 daily cases and 45 hospitalizations for the two-week period between Oct. 27 and Nov. 9," OHA said.
The report also estimated what the disease would do with a slightly lower reproductive rate of .82, which was the case from September 30 through October 2. At that rate of transmission, new cases and hospitalizations are expected to drop more steeply, with an estimated average of 185 per 100,000 people, projecting an average of 555 new cases and 31 hospitalizations over the same period.
According to the OHA, the report also found a "significant contrast" between vaccinated and unvaccinated people in how much they followed recommended public health precautions. Mask wearing among unvaccinated people is about half the rate among vaccinated people. Unvaccinated people were also more likely to attend large outdoor events.
The report notes that the rate of new cases and hospitalizations vary dramatically by county, race, ethnicity, age, and vaccination status.
"Vaccinations and booster doses remain the most effective shield against COVID-19. Oregonians should wear masks when in indoor public spaces and when outdoors among crowds," OHA said.
As of Friday, 2.79 million Oregonians had received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 2.58 million had completed a vaccine series.