PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon public health officials have identified 90 new cases of the new coronavirus in the state as of 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 2, as well as two more fatalities.
The latest death brings the state total up to 21.
The Oregon Health Authority said that there are now a total of 826 people in the state who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through a positive test.
One case reported on Wednesday as a Douglas County case was later found to be a Lane County case, state officials said. The total number of new cases in Lane County was increased to 3 to reflect this change. However, the case moved from Douglas County to Lane County is not reflected in the total of new cases statewide for Thursday.
OHA is reporting 90 total new cases in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (5), Deschutes (5), Hood River (1), Jackson (5), Josephine (2), Klamath (3), Lane (3), Lincoln (1), Marion (13), Union (2), Multnomah (26), Washington (22), and Yamhill (1).
Samples for 15,259 people have tested negative for COVID-19 in the state so far.
Oregon’s twentieth COVID-19 death was a 61-year-old man in Washington County, who tested positive on March 21 and died on April 1 at Tuality Healthcare. OHA said that he had underlying medical conditions.
Oregon’s twenty-first COVID-19 death was a 91-year-old woman in Marion County, who tested positive on March 31 and died the next day at her home. She also had underlying medical conditions.
OHA says latest COVID-19 projections show social distancing can cut coronavirus infections if Oregonians keep current measures in place into May
Updated projections from health researchers show that there is “strong evidence that measures currently in place in Oregon are reducing transmission,” according to the latest models from the Institute of Disease Modeling (IDM). According to OHA, the data suggests that current social distancing measures could cut transmission rates between 50-70 percent if Oregonians maintain these limitations on virus-spreading interactions into early May.
"If Oregonians can maintain current social distancing efforts and the current projections hold true, the state could meet the likely demand for hospital beds under current strategies," OHA said.
Researchers estimated that Oregon has slightly higher numbers of current infections than previously assessed, based on an increase in reported cases from earlier time points:
- COVID-19 infections: Under current social distancing conditions with the cooperation of most Oregonians to Stay Home, Save Lives, it is estimated that in early May Oregon would have over 4,000 cumulative infections and 200-1,200 active infections. However, if the state were to reopen non-essential businesses (while keeping schools closed), the number of new infections would spike to as many as 3,500 active infections by early May
- Hospital beds needed: Researchers found “expected demand for hospital beds is predicted to remain relatively constant before decreasing, assuming current or strengthened interventions and continued high compliance
- Uncertainty: Researchers highlighted that the projections remain uncertain. In coming weeks, state public health officials and researchers will get a better picture of current actual infections and how they affect the projections, as well as more data on the public’s continued adherence to social distancing measures.
OHA said that the state's emergency response continues to focus on strengthening the health care system’s ability to meet the coming surge. State health officials are working with hospitals and other health care partners to mobilize the health care workforce and keep workers safe, expand bed capacity and secure more ventilators.
However, OHA says that the public’s ability to maintain social distancing will still be the most important factor in determining whether Oregon prevents local hospitals from becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19 admissions.
“We know coronavirus has brought painful disruption and distress for Oregonians. However, these numbers tell us that what we’re doing can work," said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer at OHA. "We know social distancing is tough and comes with incredible sacrifices. But steps we’re all taking to maintain social distancing could save the lives of people we know and people who are important to us. As Oregonians, we all must continue to put Stay Home, Save Lives into practice.”