The Oregon Health Authority reported 499 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and no new deaths as the state’s top health officer described worrisome trends like rising case loads and increased hospitalizations as further evidence that we are still battling a “resilient enemy.”

During a Friday morning news conference, Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state’s epidemiologist, said Oregon saw hospitalizations rise 17% in March and the rolling seven-day case figures rise 22%.

Sidelinger noted that the case positivity rate was also rising, though hovering below 5%, a key metric used throughout the past six months of the pandemic to help determine a county’s risk level. He noted that counties may see their risk levels increase in coming weeks if the metrics don’t improve, meaning a reduction in indoor dining and other activities.

On Friday, the case positivity rate was 4.5%, but that was higher than the one-week average of 4.1%.

“These are indications that despite the progress we’ve made,” Sidelinger said, “the virus appears to be rebounding.”

State health officials reminded Oregonians to continue socially distancing, wear a mask in public and get a vaccination appointment if eligible.

Vaccines: Oregon reported 46,154 newly administered doses, which includes 29,325 doses administered Thursday and 16,829 from previous days.

Where the new cases are by county: Baker (8), Benton (5), Clackamas (26), Clatsop (2), Columbia (13), Coos (12), Crook (5), Curry (7), Deschutes (24), Douglas (14), Harney (5), Jackson (29), Jefferson (3), Josephine (10), Klamath (19), Lake (1), Lane (43), Lincoln (10), Linn (14), Malheur (1), Marion (39), Multnomah (111), Polk (16), Tillamook (3), Umatilla (7), Union (6), Wallowa (1), Washington (52) and Yamhill (13).

Who died: No new deaths were reported Friday.

Hospitalizations: 157 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are hospitalized, two more than on Thursday. There are 42 patients with COVID-19 in intensive care, three more than Thursday.

Since it began: Oregon has reported 166,013 confirmed or presumed infections and 2,385 deaths, among the lowest per capita numbers in the nation. To date, the state has reported 1,899,238 vaccine doses administered.

-- Andrew Theen; [email protected]; 503-294-4026; @andrewtheen

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