Oregon logs record 4,540 COVID-19 cases Tuesday
Oregon reported 4,540 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, shattering the previous daily record, and the state’s most populated regions are nearly out of hospital beds.
Oregon’s previous daily record was 3,534 cases set Dec. 30.
With delta still circulating and the highly contagious omicron variant spreading, regular hospital beds in a 12-county area that includes Portland and Salem were 99% full Tuesday, according to hospitalization data.
The Portland region had a buffer of intensive care beds, while the Salem region had only three to serve six counties.
Jackson and Josephine counties are faring only slightly better, with only two open ICU beds for the Rogue Valley’s four hospitals. Regular hospital beds are 93% full.
Oregon hospitals were caring for 510 COVID-19 patients Tuesday.
The latest Oregon Health & Science University forecast predicts the state will be overwhelmed with 1,650 COVID-19 patients by the end of January.
Hospitalizations peaked at 1,187 Sept. 1, 2021, during the summer and fall delta surge.
Jackson County reported 132 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday and five more COVID-19-related deaths.
A 67-year-old man died at Providence Medford Medical Center, a 41-year-old woman died at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, a 67-year-old woman died at Providence, a 56-year-old man died at Asante and a 53-year-old man died at Asante. All had underlying health conditions, the Oregon Health Authority said.
Josephine County logged 55 new cases and four deaths.
Across the state, the Oregon Health Authority reported 44 more COVID-19-related deaths.
Health officials are urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they haven’t done so, and to get booster shots if they have.
The omicron variant is better at eluding immunity from vaccination or recent infection, but a booster shot pushes protection against severe illness up to 75%, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
On Tuesday, the CDC recommended getting a booster shot five months after finishing the two-shot Pfizer vaccination series, six months after completing the two-shot Moderna series and two months after getting a one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.
The CDC also recommends immunocompromised kids ages 5-11 get another COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after their second shot.
For information on where to get vaccinated in Jackson County, call 211 or see jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/COVID-19/Vaccine-Appointments/where-to-get-vaccinated-in-jackson-county.
On Tuesday, Asante’s three hospitals, in Medford, Ashland and Grants Pass, were caring for 53 patients with COVID-19, including 18 in ICU and three on ventilators.
Asante said 83% of its COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated Tuesday, 89% of its COVID-19 patients in ICU beds were unvaccinated and all three people on ventilators were unvaccinated.
Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.