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OHA: COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths falling
The Oregon Health Authority reported sharp declines in daily COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths over the previous week on Jan. 27.
The OHA Weekly Report released Wednesday included 4,119 new daily cases during the week of Monday, Jan. 18, through Sunday, Jan. 24 — a 48% decrease from the previous week.
There were 229 people hospitalized for COVID-19, a 33% decline from the previous week. COVID-19 deaths also fell dramatically to 74 from last week's pandemic high of 195.
"Oregon's ongoing response to COVID-19 has been among the most effective nationally, as measured in preventing the loss of life through statewide measures. Oregon has outperformed nearly all other states in containing the COVID-19 virus and preventing COVID-19 deaths. As of Jan. 27, the state ranks fifth lowest in deaths per 100,000 persons in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," the OHA said.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown also allocated 17,000 more doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties on Wednesday. The allocation was approved the after a vaccination sign-up was that went live on Jan. 12 was shut down on Tuesday because of a vaccine shortage. Out of 60,000 eligible workers who signed up, only 11,000 were scheduled for appointments — and even those were expected to take weeks.
There are also 15,000 additional doses earmarked for educators.
Health officials said Brown made the decision after phone calls on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. She tweeted that health care workers and Phase 1A individuals "have always been my top priority."
Also on Wednesday, the OHA reported 731 more cases and 20 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon. The new figures raised the state total to 140,063 and the death toll to 1,924.
The new cases were reported in the following counties: Baker (4), Benton (8), Clackamas (67), Clatsop (4), Columbia (8), Coos (9), Crook (7), Deschutes (24), Douglas (9), Harney (1), Hood River (5), Jackson (35), Jefferson (7), Josephine (16), Klamath (13), Lake (2), Lane (52), Lincoln (3), Linn (21), Malheur (17), Marion (115), Morrow (5), Multnomah (118), Polk (21), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (30), Union (3), Wasco (2), Washington (106) and Yamhill (18).
The OHA also stopped identifying the new people who died from COVID-19 on Wednesday.
"Every death from COVID-19 represents a loss, especially for those who knew them best — families, friends and loved ones. That is why we have listed each case. Moving forward, we will share aggregated COVID-19 related deaths on OHA's public dashboards, which are updated daily. As the death toll from the virus has climbed, validating and reporting each death has had an impact on our daily reporting.
"We will continue to honor the lives of each person lost to the pandemic, but in a different way. The dashboard will provide additional information on COVID-19 related deaths that have not been accessible in a visual format before — including data on trends, underlying conditions and residence setting. This dashboard offers the public a clearer picture of the collective toll the virus has taken. But it will never detract from the importance of each Oregonian who is no longer with us," said OHA Director Patrick Allen.
KOIN News 6 is a news partner of the Portland Tribune and contributed to this story.
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