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Coronavirus Watch: Oregon breaks COVID-19 case record for the third day running

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon continued an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases on Thursday, easily doubling the single-day record for cases as it stood last week and breaking the record for the third day in a row.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 7,615 new COVID-19 cases, the highest number ever seen on a single day in the nearly two years since the pandemic began. This is after setting a record with 6,203 cases on Wednesday4,540 cases on Tuesday, and with 3,534 cases last Thursday. Prior to that, the single-day high was 3,207 cases, set during the height of the Delta variant surge.

The state's overall test positivity rate also continued to spike, with 23.3% of total tests returning a positive result.

Testing is in high demand, OHA said Wednesday, with state officials noting a high volume of tests being performed this week. The number of COVID-19 tests reported Thursday was 38,880 — one of the highest single-day counts since the pandemic began.

The OHA expects that it will begin receiving nearly 1.1 million rapid test kits this week, under an aforementioned plan to distribute the at-home kits throughout the state. Starting next Monday, the OHA's warehouse is expected to receive five trucks per week for five weeks in a row until the order is fulfilled.

"Since iHealth Labs is planning to ramp up product of the test kits, Oregon’s order may be fulfilled ahead of schedule," the agency said.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19, while rising, have not spiked at the same dramatic rate as overall cases — perhaps lending credence to indications that the Omicron variant, while highly transmissable, produces less serious forms of illness. Still, health experts worry that infections will become so widespread that cases requiring hospitalization will overwhelm healthcare systems.

"Sudden surges of COVID-19 infections can lead to more people needing medical care than our hospital systems can treat at one time.," the OHA said. "Reducing the number of infections also prevents healthcare systems from exceeding their capacity."

As of Thursday morning, there were 588 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 across Oregon, 65 more than on Wednesday. There were 110 patients in intensive care units, two more than the day prior.

Statewide, there were 42 available adult ICU beds out of 645 total (7% availability) and 221 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,072 (5% availability).

Cases and deaths

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (17), Benton (317), Clackamas (756), Clatsop (45), Columbia (49), Coos (219), Crook (41), Curry (42), Deschutes (159), Douglas (91), Grant (14), Hood River (27), Jackson (441), Jefferson (62), Josephine (105), Klamath (70), Lake (4), Lane (623), Lincoln (74), Linn (204), Malheur (33), Marion (501), Morrow (34), Multnomah (1,598), Polk (275), Sherman (2), Tillamook (21), Umatilla (306), Union (27), Wallowa (1), Wasco (21), Washington (1,333) and Yamhill (103).

  • Oregon’s 5,720th COVID-19-related death is an 82-year-old man from Multnomah County who tested positive May 15 and died on June 19 at Providence Portland Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 5,721st COVID-19-related death is an 85-year-old man from Multnomah County who tested positive Dec. 31 and died Jan. 4 at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
  • Oregon’s 5,722nd COVID-19-related death is a 79-year-old man from Multnomah County who tested positive Dec. 14 and died Jan. 4 at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
  • Oregon’s 5,723rd COVID-19-related death is a 78-year-old woman from Marion County who tested positive Dec. 27 and died Jan. 2 at Salem Hospital. She had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 5,724th COVID-19-related death is a 52-year-old man from Marion County who tested positive Dec. 31 and died Dec. 31 at Salem Hospital. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
  • Oregon’s 5,725th COVID-19-related death is a 78-year-old woman from Marion County who tested positive Dec. 11 and died Dec. 30 at her residence. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
  • Oregon’s 5,726th COVID-19-related death is a 73-year-old man from Lane County who tested positive Jan. 1 and died on Jan. 4 at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend. He had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 5,727th COVID-19-related death is an 82-year-old woman from Josephine County who tested positive Jan. 3 and died Jan. 5 at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center. She had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 5,728th COVID-19-related death is an 86-year-old man from Clackamas County who tested positive Dec. 30 and died Dec. 31 at his residence. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.