The Oregon Health Authority on Friday announced three COVID-19 deaths and 402 new coronavirus cases as cases continued their rollercoaster journey this week.

The latest figures came as state leaders released the latest COVID-19 forecast, which cautioned that while transmission has already decreased since the winter peak, the state isn’t out of the woods yet as the disease variants could continue to spread. Those concerns may accelerate if Oregonians don’t continue to wear masks and socially distance, health leader said Friday.

“As access to vaccine gradually expands throughout the state, the projections on spread of the virus emphasize the importance of continuing to practice preventive measures that can slow the spread of the disease,” the state said in a statement.

If transmission continues at the reproduction rate documented through the bulk of February, the state estimates the number of identified average daily cases would be 170 starting next week. An increase in transmission, either because of the variants or relaxed safeguards, could results in 265 identified cases a day.

But the modeling doesn’t appear to align with the current reality. As of Friday, the state was averaging about 300 cases a day over the past week.

Where the new cases are by county: Baker (3), Benton (18), Clackamas (49), Clatsop (2), Columbia (2), Coos (21), Crook (1), Curry (5), Deschutes (8), Douglas (19), Grant (4), Hood River (1), Jackson (24), Jefferson (2), Josephine (25), Klamath (11), Lake (2), Lane (14), Lincoln (5), Linn (12), Malheur (1), Marion (34), Multnomah (73), Polk (8), Tillamook (5), Umatilla (3), Union (4), Washington (41) and Yamhill (5).

Who died: Oregon’s 2,317th COVID-19 death is a 93-year-old Josephine County man who tested positive March 1 and died March 10 at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center.

Oregon’s 2,318th death is a 70-year-old Deschutes County woman who died Feb. 2 at St. Charles Bend Hospital. Her death certificate listed COVID-19 as a cause or significant factor contributing to her death.

Oregon’s 2,319th death is a 63-year-old Deschutes County man who tested positive Jan. 24 and died Feb. 12 at St. Charles Bend Hospital.

Each person who died had underlying medical conditions.

The prevalence of infections: On Thursday, the state reported 665 new positive tests out of 15,961 tests performed, equaling a 4.2% positivity rate.

Who got infected: New confirmed or presumed infections grew among the following age groups: 0-9 (33); 10-19 (45); 20-29 (71); 30-39 (69); 40-49 (66); 50-59 (50); 60-69 (28); 70-79 (18); 80 and older (13).

Who’s in the hospital: The state reported that 123 people were hospitalized with a confirmed case of COVID-19, which is two greater than Thursday’s figure. There were 23 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, one fewer than were in similar care Thursday.

Vaccines administered: Oregon has administered 1,269,595 first and second doses as of Friday. The state reported 34,613 new doses. Of those vaccines, 23,075 doses were administered Thursday and 11,538 were administered on previous days but entered into the system Thursday.

Since it began: Oregon has reported 159,037 confirmed or presumed infections and 2,319 deaths, among the lowest per capita numbers in the nation. To date, the state has reported 3,938,818 lab reports from tests

— Andrew Theen; 503-294-4026; @andrewtheen

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