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COVID-19 hospitalizations rising in Rogue Valley

Jackson County reports 558 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

COVID-19 hospitalizations are jumping in the Rogue Valley, but have begun to ebb in other parts of the state that saw early, steep spikes driven by the omicron variant of the virus.

Jackson and Josephine county hospitals were caring for 135 patients with COVID-19 Wednesday. After gradual increases, hospitalizations began spiking Jan. 16, when there were 76 local COVID-19 patients, according to state hospitalization data.

In recent days, hospitalization numbers have ticked down in the Portland, Salem, Eugene and Roseburg regions and in Central Oregon. Hospitalizations started spiking around Christmas in those areas.

Oregon hospitals were caring for 1,061 patients with COVID-19 Wednesday, up slightly from 1,057 Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority said.

Some patients with the virus are being treated primarily for COVID-19, while others came to hospitals for other reasons and tested positive.

Oregon Health & Science University predicts COVID-19 hospitalizations will peak at 1,550 Feb. 1, then drop off.

Across the state, COVID-19 daily cases are drifting down from their peaks after several days of topping 10,000 daily cases this month.

On Wednesday, Oregon reported 8,207 new COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19-related deaths have been climbing in Oregon, hitting 41 Tuesday and 54 Wednesday, according to OHA.

Jackson County reported 558 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths Wednesday. Josephine County reported 224 new cases and three deaths, OHA said.

Deaths generally lag behind COVID-19 cases as some people diagnosed with the virus fall severely ill and eventually die.

Unvaccinated people make up the minority in Jackson and Josephine counties, but Asante reported Wednesday that 72% of its 104 COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated, 82% of its 17 COVID-19 patients in intensive care were unvaccinated, and five out of its six patients on ventilators, or 83%, were unvaccinated.

In the last 90 days, 87% of people who died of COVID-19 in Asante’s three Rogue Valley hospitals were unvaccinated, Asante said.

Providence Medford Medical Center does not post daily statistics about its COVID-19 patients.

On Wednesday, hospitals were 89.9% full in the Rogue Valley, 97.5% full in the Portland region, 97.1% full in the Salem region, 88.7% full in the Eugene and Roseburg regions, and 83.3% full in the Central Oregon region, according to hospitalization data.

Oregon hospitals generally operate at 60%-70% capacity in normal times, health experts say.

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