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State COVID-19 cases drop, deaths up

Jackson County reports 520 new COVID-19 cases

The number of newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Oregon dropped to 6,904 cases Tuesday, but new COVID-19-related deaths rose to 41, according to Oregon Health Authority data.

Deaths tend to be a lagging indicator behind cases as some people diagnosed with the virus fall severely ill, then eventually die from COVID-19-related complications.

Oregon has seen daily case counts top 10,000 five days this month, according to OHA data.

The number of Oregonians hospitalized with the virus crept up to 1,057 Tuesday, an increase of 12 patients since Monday, OHA said.

Oregon Health & Science University predicts COVID-19 hospitalizations will peak Feb. 1 at 1,550. Some COVID-19-positive people are in hospitals primarily because of other conditions.

Jackson County, which didn’t spike as quickly as the Portland and Salem regions, appears to still be in the thick of the Omicron surge.

The county reported 520 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday and five more COVID-19-related deaths, according to OHA.

Josephine County reported 99 new COVID-19 cases and two more COVID-19-related deaths.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are continuing to rise in the Rogue Valley, with Jackson and Josephine county hospitals caring for 123 COVID-19 patients Tuesday, according to state hospitalization data.

Hospitalization counts are also rising in the Salem region, as well as the Eugene and Roseburg regions, hospitalization data shows.

The Portland region and Central Oregon are showing signs of hope. COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have stopped shooting up. Instead, counts have been fluctuating slightly since late last week.

On Tuesday, hospitals were 90% full in the Rogue Valley, 97% full in the Portland region, 98% full in the Salem region, 93% full in the Eugene and Roseburg regions, and 86% full in the Central Oregon region, according to hospitalization data.

Hospitals normally operate at about 605-70% capacity, according to health experts.

Oregonians are still getting tested for the virus at high levels, and 1 in 4 are testing positive, OHA said Tuesday.

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