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Oregon smashes daily record with 6,203 COVID-19 cases

Jackson County logs 264 cases Wednesday

With 6,203 COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday, Oregon smashed a daily case record set Tuesday when the state saw 4,540 cases.

Jackson County logged 264 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and no additional COVID-19-related deaths, while Josephine County reported 89 new cases and one death, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

OHA reported six new COVID-19-related deaths statewide.

The Portland area and Bend area were the biggest drivers of the statewide increase in cases, with the three-county Portland area counting 2,736 cases and Deschutes County tallying 716 cases, OHA data show.

Hospitals in the Portland region were 98% full Wednesday, and hospitals in the Central Oregon region, including Bend, were at 89% capacity, according to statewide hospitalization data.

The Salem region continues to have the most overcrowded hospitals, where beds were 99% full.

Hospitals in Jackson and Josephine counties are 89% full, data show.

For the state as a whole, 93% of hospital beds are full. That includes all regular and intensive care unit beds for babies, kids and adults, according to OHA.

The extremely contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 has surpassed the delta variant as the most common cause of infection in the state. Omicron now makes up more than 60% of COVID-19 cases in Oregon, according to OHA figures.

Oregon Health & Science University predicts omicron will fuel an unprecedented surge of hospitalizations that could triple the 523 COVID-19 patients who are currently in hospitals around the state by the end of January.

However, Oregon doesn’t have room to hospitalize 1,000 more COVID-19 patients. There were only 353 open beds across the state Wednesday, hospitalization data show.

Many hospitals are canceling surgeries and raising admission thresholds in a bid to hold down patient counts as more COVID-19 hospitalizations loom. They are struggling to take care of people with cancer, heart conditions and other health problems.

Doctors are urging Oregonians to get vaccinated against COVID-19, get booster shots, wear masks, avoid large gatherings and wash their hands often.

They also advise doing everything possible to avoid illness, injury and hospitalization, including taking prescription medications on schedule, driving safely and wearing seatbelts.

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.

More medical and nonmedical workers are needed to work at Asante and Providence hospitals in the Rogue Valley, and to boost staffing at nursing homes so patients who need follow-up care can be discharged from hospitals.

For information on careers with Providence, see providence-medford.jobs/.

For information on careers with Asante, visit asante.org/careers.

For nursing home or hospital job information, see oregon.gov/employ.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.