PORTLAND, Ore. — The Delta variant-fueled surge of coronavirus in Oregon shows no signs of abating. Cases, hospitalizations, continue to mount — and fatalities appear to be rising again as well.

For the three-day period from Friday through Sunday, the Oregon Health Authority logged 4,386 new coronavirus cases. The agency also reported 14 more deaths attributed to the virus, raising the state's death toll to 2,949.

Hospitalizations, already at critical mass, also continued an inexorable rise. The OHA reported 752 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 around the state, with 206 of those patients in an intensive care unit (ICU). This means that more than 27 percent of Oregon's hospitalized COVID-19 patients are in the ICU.

According to the OHA's latest data on hospitalizations, Region 5 — which consists of Jackson and Josephine counties — currently has no available ICU beds, with all 57 staffed beds full. Overall hospital bed availability is at 29 beds out of 439 total non-ICU staffed beds.

Neighboring Hospital Region 7, which includes Klamath and Lake counties, is in similarly dire straits. There is currently one ICU bed available in Region 7, and 31 non-ICU beds available. Hospital regions elsewhere in the state are faring better, but not by much.

Oregon lawmakers look for help

The entirety of Oregon's congressional delegation on Monday wrote a letter to FEMA, urging federal officials to help the state cope with the latest surge in cases and hospitalizations by providing medical staff.

In a letter to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell signed by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader, Suzanne Bonamici and Cliff Bentz, the Oregon lawmakers asked the agency to give “swift and full consideration” to an August 13 request sent to FEMA by Governor Kate Brown requesting medical personnel.

While more than 71 percent of adult Oregonians are vaccinated and the state has had relatively low levels of infection during the pandemic, the lawmakers wrote, communities with low-vaccination rates are experiencing extremely high rates of COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations are spiking statewide.

“As a result, the state hospital and health care systems are facing an acute staffing need,” the lawmakers wrote FEMA. “State officials estimate that the current surge in cases is likely to exceed hospital capacity by 400-500 beds in a matter of weeks. The state has subsequently tightened mitigation measures, like indoor-masking, and has asked the National Guard to provide support to hospital staff in heavily impacted areas. In addition to these efforts, Governor Brown is requesting FEMA provide additional personnel to ensure Oregonians get the care that they need during this critical time.”

Vaccine boosters recommended for the certain groups

On the vaccine front, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup — an advisory panel shared by Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada — agreed on Monday with the CDC's recent recommendation that immunocompromised people receive a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“This official CDC recommendation — which follows FDA’s decision to amend the emergency use authorizations of the vaccines — is an important step in ensuring everyone, including those most vulnerable to COVID-19, can get as much protection as possible from COVID-19 vaccination,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky in an August 13 media statement.

The wrokgroup's approval generally acts as a precursor to recommendation by the OHA, giving the greenlight for local public health agencies and healthcare providers in Oregon to procede with administering booster shots for the immunocompromised.

Oregon cases and deaths

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (18), Benton (54), Clackamas (296), Clatsop (73), Columbia (19), Coos (66), Crook (19), Curry (136), Deschutes (355), Douglas (350), Harney (11), Hood River (10), Jackson (542), Jefferson (30), Josephine (363), Klamath (15), Lane (567), Lincoln (35), Linn (178), Malheur (17), Marion (163), Morrow (13), Multnomah (504), Polk (46), Tillamook (66), Umatilla (109), Union (39), Wallowa (11), Wasco (22), Washington (166), Yamhill (103).

Oregon reported 2,027 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Aug. 13, 1,533 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Aug. 14, and 836 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Aug.15.

  • Oregon’s 2,936th COVID-19 death is a 54-year-old woman from Douglas County who tested positive on August 7 and died on August 14 at Mercy Medical Center. She had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 2,937th COVID-19 death is a 27-year-old woman from Douglas County who tested positive on August 6 and died on August 14 at Mercy Medical Center. Presence of underlying conditions are being confirmed.
  • Oregon’s 2,938th COVID-19 death is a 79-year-old man from Douglas County who tested positive on July 29 and died on August 12 at Mercy Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 2,939th COVID-19 death is an 80-year-old woman from Crook County who tested positive on August 6 and died on August 12 at her residence. She had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 2,940th COVID-19 death is a 69-year-old woman from Coos County who tested positive on August 3 and died on August 11. Location of COVID-19 death and underlying conditions are being confirmed.
  • Oregon’s 2,941st COVID-19 death is a 90-year-old woman from Jackson County who tested positive on July 27 and died on August 11 at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. She had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 2,942nd COVID-19 death is an 88-year-old man from Jackson County who tested positive on July 13 and died on August 13 at his residence. He had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 2,943rd COVID-19 death is a 69-year-old man from Lane County who tested positive on July 30 and died on August 12 at his residence. He had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 2,944th COVID-19 death is a 47-year-old woman from Jefferson County who tested positive on July 23 and died on August 12 at St Charles Bend Hospital. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
  • Oregon’s 2,945th COVID-19 death is a 47-year-old man from Washington County who tested positive on August 9 and died on August 13 at his residence. He had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 2,946th COVID-19 death is a 93-year-old man from Washington County who tested positive on July 23 and died on August 5 at his residence. He had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 2,947th COVID-19 death is a 54-year-old man from Multnomah County who tested positive on August 9 and died on August 11 at Adventist Health Portland. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
  • Oregon’s 2,948th COVID-19 death is a 93-year-old man from Wasco County who tested positive on August 5 and died on August 11 at his residence. He had underlying conditions.
  • Oregon’s 2,949th COVID-19 death is a 63-year-old man from Jackson County who tested positive on June 10 and died on August 12 at Providence Medford Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.





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