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State forecast shows potential for continued decline in COVID-19 cases

If Oregonians continue to abide by COVID-19 mitigation tactics such as wearing masks, observing physical distancing and restricting gathering sizes, the latest COVID-19 modeling shows, new daily cases could decline to an average of 320 between Feb. 24 and March 9.

State health officials utilized modeling software called Rainier to create the projections. A state report shows that such a trajectory would also result in 10 fewer daily hospitalizations during the same time period. By comparison, if there was a 30% increase in transmission, the report projects about 510 cases and 17 new hospitalizations per day.

“We could see such an increase if people were to become less adherent to prevention recommendations and/or a strain with higher infectivity were to circulate more widely,” the report says. “In addition, as some counties’ risk levels are lowered and their interventions become less stringent, there will be more opportunities for potential exposure.”

The Oregon Health Authority reported 492 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, but reported no new deaths. The new cases raised the statewide total to 152,190; the death toll remained at 2,149.

Jackson County Public Health reported 52 new cases, increasing the local total to 8,078. OHA reported 23 new cases in Josephine County, raising its case total to 2,247. Jackson County has reported 107 deaths, and Josephine County has reported 48, according to OHA.

Twenty-two people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Jackson and Josephine counties Friday, up one from Thursday, with four in intensive care, two fewer than Thursday.

Statewide, 176 Oregonians were hospitalized with the illness Friday, six more than Thursday, with 49 in intensive care, three fewer than Thursday, OHA officials said.

As of Friday, 232,820 Oregonians were considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with 284,764 who had received their first dose.

In Jackson County, 15,305 people are fully vaccinated, and 9,789 have received their first dose.

In Josephine County, 4,032 residents are fully vaccinated, and 3,591 have had their first dose.