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April 28, 2021

Nonprofit delivers badly needed hygiene products with love

LoveOne describes itself as a love-driven nonprofit serving neighbors in Clackamas County. The organization provides laundry services, showers, hygiene items, food and other services to people who need them in Oregon CityMilwaukieMolalla and soon, Sandy.

They are one of the community-based organizations that Oregon Health Authority partners with to provide COVID-19 education, outreach and wraparound services.

LoveOne mobile shower cartThe urgent need for access to soap and running water became clear very soon after the shutdown in 2020. Public restrooms closed leaving folks without access to running water or soap, says executive director Brandi Johnson. People’s small cuts and insect bites soon became badly infected.

“We immediately realized we needed to set up hand washing stations at laundry events,” says Johnson. Eventually, out of this need, “the shower cart came to be funded and built.” The hygiene support LoveOne offers to more than 200 people a month helps reduce COVID-19 transmission.

Folks who use the showers get fifteen minutes in a shower stall that is stocked with shampoo, conditioner and body wash, and leave with new socks, underwear and undershirts.

At laundry events, people can wash and dry up to three loads of laundry free of charge. At a recent event in Molalla, 31 families washed 2,160 lbs of laundry. People can also pick up a range of essential personal care items (everything from menstruation supplies to denture care to nail clippers) from resource tables at every event.

“These events,” says Johnson, “are a great opportunity to build relationships because folks have to be there a while.” Getting to know people’s names, where they camp, their phone numbers and their medical information, she adds, has proven instrumental in referring them to housing.

It’s clear from LoveOne’s Facebook posts that people also come to events to find community and share their joys and sorrows: graduation from a treatment program, a new landscaping job, help filling out apartment rental paperwork, a new and fragile relationship with a daughter.

LoveOne partners with other community organizations to offer services including HIV and Hepatitis-C testing, food boxes, Oregon Health Plan support and sometimes COVID-!9 vaccines. Plans are in the works to pair some shower services in rural areas with community court.

LoveOne loves volunteers and accepts donations of detergent, personal hygiene items, socks, and more. For more information, visit their events page or Facebook page.

Group of masked people waving and acknowledging camera

Relaxed precautions, social gatherings and the B.1.1.7. variant increase the spread

You may be wondering why cases have been on the rise recently, especially as we see an increase in vaccination across the state. There are two answers to this question – variants that are more transmissible and increased social gatherings without face coverings.  

The CDC and OHA are closely monitoring variants of concern (VOC). VOCs are variants that have mutations in the virus genome that alter the characteristics and cause the virus to act differently. For example, a variant of concern may cause more severe disease, spread more easily between humans, require different treatments and change the effectiveness of current vaccines.   

One variant is B.1.1.7 which has now become the dominant variant in Oregon statewide. It is 50% more transmissible and may cause more severe disease. At this point, it appears that COVID-19 vaccines are effective against variant B.1.1.7. 

While we are seeing this variant become more prominent in Oregon, people also seem to be relaxing their precautions. Much of the increase in cases we’re seeing is in younger people and is due to social gatherings where people are not wearing face coverings. The fact that variant B.1.1.7. has become Oregon’s dominant strain is intensifying the spread at these events.  

The good news is that we know how to turn this around. The same precautions that we have been taking throughout this pandemic are what will slow this spread – wear a face covering and keep gatherings small and outdoors. And get vaccinated if you’re eligible. The best way to end the pandemic is by vaccinating enough of the population to keep the virus from being able to spread easily.  

People in Oregon know how take care of each other in tough times. We got this.  

Infographic explaining why COVID-19 cases are rising in Oregon

April 28 is Workers’ Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day, also known as International Workers’ Memorial Day, takes place annually around the world on April 28. This is the day we pay our respects to those who lost their lives on the job and recognize the impact these tragic losses have on families, co-workers and communities.

In addition to injuries or accidents, we also recognize that more than a year into the pandemic, every day essential workers, many of whom are people of color and immigrants, have put their lives on the line during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were 21 deaths of workers associated with workplace outbreaks of COVID-19 in Oregon in 2020. This number includes confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in people who worked at a location with a reported workplace outbreak, in a setting with 30 or more employees and five or more cases. It does not include all deaths associated with workplace outbreaks.

Click here to view the virtual Workers Memorial Wall, a tribute to those who lost their lives while on the job.

COVID-19 weekly cases, hospitalizations surge

The Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 Weekly Report, released today, shows a fifth consecutive week of surging daily cases and surging hospitalizations from the previous week.

OHA reported 5,729 new daily cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, April 19 through Sunday, April 27. That represents a 21% increase from the previous week and marks the fifth consecutive week of 20% or higher increases in daily cases.

  • New COVID-19 related hospitalizations nearly doubled from 171 to 333.
  • There were 26 reported COVID-19 related deaths.
  • There were 133,563 tests for COVID-19 for the week of April 18 through April 24. The percentage of positive tests was 6%.
  • People 70 years of age and older have accounted for 39% of COVID-19 related hospitalizations and 76% of COVID-19 related deaths.

Today’s COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report shows 34 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.

Daily data dashboard April 28

Oregon reports 888 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 2 new deaths

There are two new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,490, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority reported 888 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 182,916.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 40,769 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 23,214 doses were administered on April 27 and 17,555 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on April 27. Cumulative daily totals can take several days to finalize.

The 7-day running average is now 34,906 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered a total of 1,543,640 first and second doses of Pfizer, 1,257,015 first and second doses of Moderna and 93,001 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, 1,209,607 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 1,773,928 people who have had at least one dose.

To date, 1,865,565 doses of Pfizer, 1,563,300 doses of Moderna and 215,100 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to sites across Oregon.

These data are preliminary and subject to change.

OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data, and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.

Cases and deaths

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (4), Benton (21), Clackamas (109), Clatsop (2), Columbia (12), Coos (3), Crook (10), Curry (10), Deschutes (67), Douglas (8), Grant (5), Harney (1), Hood River (2), Jackson (58), Jefferson (6), Josephine (22), Klamath (55), Lake (4), Lane (57), Lincoln (3), Linn (45), Malheur (5), Marion (103),Morrow (2),  Multnomah (153), Polk (13), Tillamook (4), Umatilla (17), Union (1), Wallowa (3), Washington (73) and Yamhill (10).

Oregon’s 2489th COVID-19 death is a 78-year-old man from Jackson County who tested positive on April 12 and died on April 27 at Providence Medford Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.

Oregon’s 2,490th death is a 73-year-old man from Linn county who tested positive on April 10 and died on April 13. Location of death and presence of underlying conditions are being confirmed.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 326, which is two fewer than yesterday. There are 64 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is seven fewer than yesterday.

The total number of COVID-19 positive patient bed-days in the most recent seven days is 2,118, which is a 34% increase from the previous seven days. The peak daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19 positive patients in the most recent seven days is 328.

The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations  

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine situation in Oregon, visit our webpage (English or Spanish), which has a breakdown of distribution and other information.