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Modeling shows Oregon COVID-19 forecast could continue to improve

The Oregon Health Authority’s latest COVID-19 forecast projects that if the current level of virus transmission stays the same, the average number of new daily cases would drop to 170, with about six hospitalizations per day.

If the transmission level increases by 30%, however, modeling points to 265 new daily cases, with about 10 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 said. “In addition, as some counties’ risk levels are lowered and their interventions become less stringent, there will be more opportunities for potential exposure.”

For now, all Oregonians need to continue doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 — wearing a mask, physical distancing and avoiding indoor gatherings,” the report added.

OHA reported three new deaths from COVID-19 Friday, raising the state’s death toll from the illness to 2,319. One of those deaths was in Josephine County, a 93-year-old man who tested positive for the disease March 1 and died March 10 at Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. He had underlying health conditions, according to a Josephine County news release.

The death raised Josephine County’s COVID-19 death toll to 58. Jackson County’s COVID-19 death toll stayed at 120.

OHA reported 402 new cases of the illness, with 24 in Jackson County and 25 in Josephine County. The latest cases raised the state’s cumulative total to 159,037, Jackson County’s to 8,734, and Josephine County’s to 2,490.

On Friday, 123 Oregonians were hospitalized with COVID-19, two more than Thursday, with 23 of those patients in intensive care, one fewer than Thursday, according to OHA.

In Jackson and Josephine counties, 13 people were hospitalized with the disease, one more than Thursday, with two patients in ICU, two fewer than Thursday.

As of Friday, 461,917 Oregonians were considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 347,225 people had received the first shot in a two-dose series, according to state data.

In Jackson County, 22,198 people were considered fully vaccinated, and 14,887 had received the first dose.

In Josephine County, 6,291 people were considered fully vaccinated, and 7,032 had received the first dose.