SALEM, Ore. — Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continued to mount last week over the week prior, according to the latest from the Oregon Health Authority, as the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 is increasingly implicated in cases throughout the state.
The OHA's weekly report identified 3,098 new cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, July 19 through Sunday, July 25. This represented a 53 percent increase over the week prior and the highest weekly tally in eight weeks. Test positivity rates rose to 5 percent from 4.2 percent the week before.
New hospitalizations for COVID-19 rose to 146, up from 123 the previous week. There were 12 deaths attributed to the virus compared to 29 reported the week prior, the only aspect of the virus to see a drop.
Just over 2.47 million Oregonians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of July 27, comprising 58.1 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 18–25, the 10 counties with case rates in excess of 100 per 100,000 had population vaccination rates below 50 percent," OHA said.
Jackson and Josephine counties still have among the highest case rates in the state by population, and both saw increases last week over the week prior. Last week, Josephine County had a case rate of 158.3 per 100,000 in population, versus 125.8 the week before. Jackson County rose to 113.8 cases per 100,000 in population, up from 81.1 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 45,000 additional people to hit that goal.
Curry and Jackson counties have the highest vaccination rates in southern Oregon, with 55 percent of adults having received at least one dose. Josephine County is at 48 percent, Klamath County at 47 percent, and Lake County at 37 percent — tied with Malheur County for the lowest vaccination rate in Oregon.