The number of people who've been infected by the coronavirus is roughly twice as much as previously thought, according to the latest estimate released by the Oregon Health Authority.
Citing new guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control, state modelers say their best estimate for infections in Oregon is roughly 20,000, a significant jump from the more than 10,000 estimated by state modelers two weeks ago.
The new estimate does not indicate a worsening of the disease. Rather, it represents new research indicating how often the virus goes undetected.
The report does, however, suggest a worsening of the disease is likely in the wake of the state beginning to reopen. It estimates that a mix of voluntary and goverment-directed social distancing has reduced viral transmission by about 70% from where things would have gone otherwise, and treats that as the baseline.
It projects alternate scenarios for the future, one assuming 60% reduction from baseline and another assuming 50% from baseline. It does not say which is more likely, noting that its data only extends to May 22 and would not capture changes due to the lag time in diagnosis and testing.
Under the 60% reduction from baseline scenario, new infections would hold roughly steady at about 50 a day by July 3, rather than the 15 per day Oregon would have seen had it not begun reopening.
Under the 50% scenario, by July 3 new infections would reach 155 each day.
The report notes that all of its estimates represent a rough probability, one the state's modelers are 80% confident in. For example, the actual range of likely infections is 14,400 to 27,300 according to the report.
(This article will be updated later today.)
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