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Jackson County reports 16 COVID-19 cases Friday

The Oregon Health Authority reported 16 new COVID-19 cases in Jackson County Friday and no COVID-19-related deaths.

OHA reported 15 new COVID-19 cases in Josephine County Friday and no deaths.

Statewide, OHA reported 411 new COVID-19 cases and 15 more deaths.

The number of Oregon hospital patients with the virus fell to 261 Friday, down from 375 a week ago.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Oregon will continue their steady decline, barring the emergence of a new variant that breaks through existing immunity and causes severe illness, according to the latest forecast from Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

OHSU predicts the number of hospital patients with the virus in Oregon will fall to 200 at the end of March, and 100 people at the end of April.

“It’s fair to say the omicron surge is behind us, though COVID is not,” said Peter Graven, director of the OHSU Office of Advanced Analytics. “The risk right now is quite low for most healthy people in Oregon. And we need to remember that COVID-19 will continue to present a threat to people who are immunocompromised, older adults and those with underlying health conditions.”

With Oregon’s indoor mask mandate lifted in most places this weekend, public health officials are recommending that at-risk people talk to their doctors about whether they should voluntarily wear masks in public indoor spaces.

Public health officials are also urging people to stay current on their COVID-19 vaccinations and follow guidelines about booster shots.

An estimated 87% of Oregonians have some level of immunity against COVID-19 right now because of vaccination, recent infection or vaccination plus infection, OHSU said.

Immunity wanes over time, OHSU said.

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