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Coronavirus Watch: Oregon has yet to bend the curve on COVID-19 surge, OHSU says

Intensive care units continue to fill with COVID-19 patients statewide, shown here as health care workers rotate a critically ill COVID-19 patient at OHSU Hospital. A new forecast from OHSU shows the current surge of hospitalizations due to the highly contagious delta variant will continue for at least another week. (OHSU/Erin Hoover-Barnett)

OHSU's latest forecast on COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations does not show any marked improvement yet in spite of growing state restrictions.

Posted: Aug 27, 2021 11:48 AM
Updated: Aug 27, 2021 12:10 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — The latest projections from Oregon Health & Science University do not show any marked improvement in Oregon's ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the university said on Thursday, as mandates designed to combat the virus increasingly go into effect.

"We’re seeing the number of people hospitalized going up at rates we’ve never seen before,” said Peter Graven, Ph.D., lead data scientist in OHSU’s Business Intelligence unit. “We had hoped to see the new statewide masking mandate make a difference in flattening the rate of infection, but we’re not seeing that yet.”

Graven's latest data projects that 1,197 people will be hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide by September 6, an increase of more than 100 from Thursday's numbers. Graven said that his data shows that Oregonians are responding to the surge with more frequent masking, in addition to modest upticks in daily vaccination rates and fewer gatherings. However, those countermeasures have not yet been enough to significantly slow the spread of severe illness.

Hospitals across the state remain under severe strain, with OHSU noting that 45 percent of Oregon intensive care unit beds now occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Healthcare administrators have been pleading with the public to take steps that will reduce the spread of infection in order to reduce overcrowding at hospitals — urging people to get vaccinated, wear masks, and maintain physical distancing.

“I’ve been a physician for more than 30 years – over 20 of those at OHSU – and never before have I experienced the level of crisis that we find ourselves in now,” said Renee Edwards, M.D., M.B.A., chief medical officer for OHSU, one of two level 1 trauma centers in Oregon. “In addition to the enormous surge in COVID patients, we also continue to see a large volume of severely ill patients who don’t have COVID-19, including those who delayed care during the past year due to the pandemic.”

Edwards addressed Oregonians, adding, “We are in a crisis and we desperately need your help. If we all do our part now, it will make a difference: every mask, every vaccine, every attempt to limit gatherings is important at this time.”

Two leaders from OHSU and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital published an op-ed in the Oregonian on Wednesday, noting that patients young and old have been waiting hours or sometimes days for hospital beds, as healthcare workers administer medical care in waiting rooms, conference rooms, and hallways.

“If Oregonians do not take immediate action to reverse the increase in COVID-19 cases in our state, the consequences will be even more catastrophic than they are already,” wrote Dana Braner, M.D., physician-in-chief, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital; and Matthias Merkel, M.D., Ph.D., senior associate chief medical officer, Capacity Management and Patient Flow, OHSU Health.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 357526

Reported Deaths: 4284
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55810707
Washington38782324
Marion36837455
Clackamas29779309
Lane27744302
Jackson23059310
Deschutes20336125
Umatilla14492150
Linn12911131
Douglas12118243
Josephine9384196
Yamhill8715113
Klamath8020119
Polk737381
Malheur563677
Benton549431
Coos503794
Columbia382644
Jefferson376052
Lincoln319939
Union319549
Crook291846
Wasco288841
Clatsop244328
Baker203529
Tillamook196932
Hood River192837
Morrow185023
Curry180625
Harney113927
Grant100013
Lake93912
Wallowa68612
Gilliam1544
Sherman1523
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4850807

Reported Deaths: 71341
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148419226540
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3673614183
San Bernardino3586775692
Orange3242885562
Sacramento1596362309
Kern1463481648
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921400
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus862991335
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924352
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766787
Lassen754347
San Benito744972
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa133916
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
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