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May 10, 2021

Variants and the rise in COVID-19 cases

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. 

Sequencing of COVID-19 variants allows scientists to monitor how the COVID-19 virus changes over time into new variants, and to understand how these changes affect characteristics of the virus such as how easily the virus spreads or how many severe infections it causes. They use this information to predict and to measure how these changes might affect the spread of COVID-19. 

Read more about variants on the OHA blog. 

Thigs to Know this Week. Click to open pdf.

Q and A on COVID-19 variants: Experts answer your questions

Many people are wondering about COVID-19 variants in Oregon. Join us Wednesday, May 12 at 11:30 a.m. to have your questions answered by Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Senior Health Advisor, Dr. Melissa Sutton and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Assistant Professor of Medicine, Dr. Bill Messer

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine receives Emergency Use Authorization for 12 to 15 year olds

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended emergency use authorization to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people ages 12-15. This approval will be reviewed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP will make a recommendation to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director who will issue guidance for administering the vaccine to this age group. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup (WSSSRW) will discuss the data and review process in order to issue a memo to governors from participating states. ACIP and the WSSSRW meet on May 12.  

In anticipation of recommendations for administration of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to this age group, OHA is working with health care providers, pharmacies, community-based organizations and school districts to make the Pfizer vaccine readily available for eligible youth throughout the state. We will continue our focus on making culturally relevant resources about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines available so students and parents can make informed decisions about protecting themselves and their families. Our recommendation is that all eligible people in Oregon get vaccinated, and that, until we have sufficient numbers vaccinated, everyone follow public health safety guidance. 

You can read more about Emergency Use Authorization on the OHA blog 

OHA updates population data

Today, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) updated its COVID-19 case rates (cases per 100,000 residents) using 2020 population data from Portland State University’s (PSU) Population Research Center and 2019 housing and demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). 

OHA also updated its vaccination rates (people vaccinated per 100 residents) with 2020 population data from PSU and the 2019 Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) from the ACS. These changes affected the weekly data report, all COVID-19 Tableau Dashboards and the county risk metrics. 

OHA had previously been using 2019 population data from PSU and 2018 data from the ACS to calculate COVID-19 case rates and 2019 population data from PSU and 2019 PUMS data from the ACS to calculate vaccination rates. 

In the past year, specific populations have changed, and this update will ensure that OHA is displaying and sharing the most up-to-date and accurate information available for case and vaccination rates in specific populations. Case rates and vaccination rates may shift slightly because of this change. 

The following case rates will be affected: 

  • Sex 
  • Age Group 
  • Race 
  • Ethnicity 
  • County 

The following vaccination rates will be affected: 

  • Sex 
  • Age Group 
  • Race & Ethnicity 
  • County

Arrows indicate deaths and hospitalizations have increased while cases have decreased.

Oregon reports 388 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 3 new deaths

There are three new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,533, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today. 

Oregon Health Authority reported 388 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 191,774. 

Vaccinations in Oregon 

Today, OHA reported that 28,659 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 22,263 doses were administered on May 9 and 6,396 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on May 9. Cumulative daily totals can take several days to finalize. 

The 7-day running average is now 34,030 doses per day. 

Oregon has now administered a total of 1,828,744 first and second doses of Pfizer, 1,401,316 first and second doses of Moderna and 112,593 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, 1,467,659 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 1,982,835 people who have had at least one dose. 

To date, 2,110,095 doses of Pfizer, 1,710,920 doses of Moderna and 246,700 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 (1), Benton (21), Clackamas (76), Clatsop (4), Columbia (12), Coos (1), Crook (3), Deschutes (56), Douglas (6), Harney (3), Hood River (2), Jackson (8), Jefferson (4), Josephine (7), Lane (24), Linn (23), Marion (45), Multnomah (76), Polk (3), Tillamook (2), Wasco (1), Washington (4) and Yamhill (6). 

Oregon’s 2,531st COVID-19 death is a 90-year-old woman from Multnomah County who tested positive on April 25 and died on April 27 at Salem Hospital. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed. 

Oregon’s 2,532nd COVID-19 death is a 70-year-old man from Lane County who tested positive on April 18 and died on May 6 at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center. He had underlying conditions. 

Oregon’s 2,533rd COVID-19 death is a 63-year-old man from Josephine County who tested positive on March 8 and died on May 2 at his residence. He had underlying conditions. 

COVID-19 hospitalizations 

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 326, which is eight more than yesterday. There are 78 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is two more than yesterday. 

The total number of COVID-19 positive patient bed-days in the most recent seven days is 2,300, which is a 2.3% decrease from the previous seven days. The peak daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19 positive patients in the most recent seven days is 345. 

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.