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Oregon health officials walk a thin line during a Friday press conference about the virus spread.

KOIN 6 NEWS - Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the sOregon epidemiologist, at the Friday press briefing.Oregon could see nearly 1,200 COVID-19 cases each day by mid-August, according to a new model projection released Friday.

State health officials said they are not yet willing to require an indoor mask mandate during a July 30 press briefing, however.

"There are still going to be people who say, 'I don't believe in masks,'" said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state's epidemiologist.

Officials released the latest COVID-19 modeling amid an ongoing surge of cases in the state. The Oregon Health Authority officials reported 1,076 new confirmed and presumptive cases July 30 in addition to three more deaths.

"I'm extremely concerned about the situation right now," Sidelinger said.

The model released by OHA is based on COVID-19's effective reproductive rate, which was estimated to be at 1.58 through mid-July, compared to the estimation of 0.74 through mid-June.

As cases surged this week due to the delta variant, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a mask requirement for all state buildings and for K-12 educational institutions, including for those who are vaccinated, following a recommendation by OHA for everyone — vaccinated or not — to wear masks in indoor public settings in the state.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.

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