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COVID-19 hospitalizations climb in Rogue Valley

Jackson County reported 395 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and three more COVID-19-related deaths.

An 83-year-old man died at Providence Medford Medical Center, a 97-year-old woman died at Asante Ashland Community Hospital and a 99-year-old man died at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford. All had underlying health conditions, the Oregon Health Authority said.

Statewide, Oregon recorded 7,871 new cases and 19 deaths.

The others who died in Oregon ranged in age from 57 to 99, OHA said.

Josephine County reported 144 new COVID-19 cases Thursday but no deaths.

Oregon hospitals were caring for 1,130 patients with the virus Thursday, an increase from 1,061 Wednesday. Some patients are in hospitals specifically because of COVID-19, while others are there for other conditions and tested positive.

Oregon Health & Science University forecasts COVID-19 hospitalizations will peak at 1,550 next Wednesday, then drop off.

The number of COVID-19 patients rose to 145 in Jackson and Josephine counties as counts continue to spike in the Rogue Valley, according to state hospitalization data.

The Portland, Salem and Central Oregon regions had seen promising dips in COVID-19 hospitalizations in recent days, but all saw increases from Wednesday to Thursday. Those regions saw steep spikes earlier than the Rogue Valley during the current COVID-19 surge driven by the omicron variant of the virus.

The Eugene and Roseburg regions added one more COVID-19 patient from Wednesday to Thursday.

On Wednesday, hospitals were 92.9% full in the Rogue Valley, 97.8% full in the Portland region, 98.1% full in the Salem region, 84.7% full in the Eugene and Roseburg regions, and 84.5% full in the Central Oregon region, according to hospitalization data.

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

Many hospitals are delaying surgeries and other nonemergency care during the omicron surge as they deal with overcrowding.

On Wednesday, the Oregon Health Authority reported a high death figure of 54 COVID-19-related deaths. OHA later said the number was elevated because deaths from 2020 and 2021 were added to the statistics.

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