The Oregon Health Authority reported 521 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and two new deaths as the number of patients actively hospitalized due to the virus reached its highest level since late February.

Some 155 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the most since Feb. 25. Thirty-nine of those COVID-19 patients are in the intensive care unit at a hospital, the highest total since Feb. 24.

Increasing spread pushed the average daily case count over the past week to 388, which is also the highest since Feb. 28.

Thursday’s test positivity rate was 3.8%, down from Wednesday’s rate, but the average from the past week stands at 4.1%.

Jackson County reported the highest new cases Thursday, with its 73 narrowly eclipsing Multnomah’s 71.

Meanwhile, 23 of Oregon’s 36 counties have now made residents 16 to 44 with underlying health conditions, and many frontline workers, eligible for doses ahead of the April 5 timeline for all of the state.

Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and Columbia counties are not among the counties moving to the next phase of eligibility.

Vaccines: Oregon reported 46,587 newly administered doses, which includes 29,262 doses administered Wednesday and 17,325 from previous days. The state’s database that allows a county-by-county look at vaccination rates was “temporarily disabled” Thursday. The state said it is trying to fix an issue with certain vaccinations being misclassified. It’s unclear when that feature will return to the state website, though the health authority said the issue has been fixed.

Where the new cases are by county: Baker (7), Benton (8), Clackamas (39), Clatsop (7), Columbia (16), Coos (7), Crook (2), Curry (4), Deschutes (30), Douglas (17), Grant (7), Jackson (73), Jefferson (2), Josephine (30), Klamath (22), Lane (30), Lincoln (2), Linn (20), Malheur (2), Marion (40), Multnomah (71), Polk (12), Tillamook (13), Union (4), Washington (48) and Yamhill (8).

Who died: Oregon’s 2,384th COVID-19 death is a 78-year-old Klamath County man who tested positive March 15 and died March 31 at Sky Lakes Medical Center.

Oregon’s 2,385th death is a 48-year-old Union County woman who tested positive March 17 and died March 30 at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center.

Both had underlying conditions.

Hospitalizations: 155 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are hospitalized, 16 more than Wednesday’s total. There are 39 patients with COVID-19 in intensive care, three more than Wednesday’s figure.

Since it began: Oregon has reported 165,524 confirmed or presumed infections and 2,385 deaths, among the lowest per capita numbers in the nation. To date, the state has reported 1,853,084 vaccine doses administered.

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

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