Even if Oregonians restrict contact and reduce coronavirus transmission by 10%, hospitalizations for severe COVID-19 will increase from about 17 to 25 per day, according to state health officials' latest projections.
The new twice-monthly projections report issued by the Oregon Health Authority uses an open-source model provided by Seattle's Institute for Disease Modeling based on data through July 2.
Exponential increases are likely to continue, according to the report.
Its release follows a series of records in new cases reported by the state, including 389 on Thursday.
Not surprisingly, the report notes that transmission of the disease has surged following Gov. Kate Brown's decision to reopen the state starting May 15 — to the point where each confirmed case of coronavirus will lead to 1.4 additional people will be infected.
With no change in that transmission rate, the number of severe cases leading to hospitalizations will climb from about 17 new hospitalizations per day currently to 49, a nearly three-fold increase.
With even a 10% reduction in transmission, the number of new hospitalizations will climb from about 17 to 25 per day, a jump of roughly 47%.
In contrast, a 10% increase in transmission rate will lead to new severe cases jumping from 17 per day to 76, a more than four-fold jump, the projection said.
The projection notes several caveats and says that there is a wide band of possible outcomes; its numbers are merely the most likely of them.
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