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Coronavirus Watch: Oregon COVID-19 cases and deaths fell last week, but hospitalizations rose

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PORTLAND, Ore. — While the impacts of coronavirus had been dropping with relative steadiness for weeks, the Oregon Health Authority noted in its weekly COVID-19 report that hospitalizations increased last week — breaking a seven-week streak of consecutive declines.

The OHA reported 7,707 new cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, October 18 through Sunday, October 24. This represented a 4.1% decrease from the previous week and the eighth consecutive week of declining case counts.

There were 137,537 tests for COVID-19 for the week of October 17 through October 23. The percentage of positive tests was 7.4%, down from 7.6% the previous week.

The amount of reported cases have been higher in counties with a population rate of less than 50%, which includes Klamath and Lake counties in southern Oregon.

There were 415 new hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Oregon last week, up from 377 the week prior. This marks the first time that hospitalizations have gone up after dropping for seven straight weeks following the peak of the Delta variant surge.

The turnaround in hospitalizations is an interesting outlier in the overall arc of coronavirus in Oregon. Generally, hospitalizations closely follow the trend in case rates, whereas deaths can be a lagging indicator that take weeks to follow a trend in either direction.

OHA reported 110 COVID-19 deaths last week, down from 183 reported the week prior. This was the lowest weekly death toll since the week of August 16 through 22.

The agency's COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report showed 101 active COVID-19 outbreaks in senior living communities and congregate living settings, with three or more confirmed cases and one or more COVID-19 related deaths. On the list are Avamere at Three Fountains in Jackson County, Highland House Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Josephine County, and Marquis Plum Ridge in Klamath County.