By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

State COVID case counts down slightly after weeks of increases

Oregon saw mixed results in its tracking of COVID-19 last week. The Oregon Health Authority reported that the percentage of people testing positive increased from 6% to 6.8%, but there was a slight drop in the number of new cases reported, of 3% from the previous week.

That followed five weeks of steady increases. The number of deaths has also declined, from 26 to 16, and the number of hospitalizations decreased from 333 to 272. Based on the decrease in hospitalizations, Governor Kate Brown announced Tuesday that the 15 counties in the extreme risk category will be returned to high risk, effective Friday.

She warned that “Oregon is not out of the woods yet,” but said, “With our statewide hospitalization rate stabilizing, our hospitals should have the capacity to continue treating patients with severe cases of COVID-19 and other serious medical conditions in the coming weeks.”

Yamhill County remains in the high risk category. On Thursday, the county reported 20 new cases, bringing it to a total to date of 4,373. There have been 75 deaths in the county.

Statewide, as of Wednesday, there had been 188,417 cases, and 2,509 deaths.

Yamhill County has now vaccinated nearly half its population with at least one dose. As of Thursday, according to the OHA, the county had given at least one shot to 42,429 people; the county newsletter said that more than 47% of the county population is now vaccinated.

With FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine for use in children ages 12 to 14 expected soon, the county Public Health department said it is working with local doctors “to ensure that they are able to vaccinate their eligible patients. We encourage all eligible individuals to receive the vaccine and children 12-15 will be able to attend any of our Pfizer events.”

The county said it is also trying to schedule more pop-event vaccine clinics where walk-in appointments can be accepted, and is working with partners to schedule workplace clinics.

To find a vaccine appointment online, go to the OHA website For questions, call 211, or the county, at 503-474-4100.

The OHA reported a new outbreak at Fircrest Senior Living in McMinnville, which reported three cases on April 28, and a renewal of an earlier-resolved outbreak at the Sheridan prison, which reported a new onset on April 24. There have been 85 cases at the prison, which first reported an outbreak last October.

It reported an outbreak among three students at Duniway Middle School in McMinnville, reported on April 27.

Willamina Middle and High School, which reported three cases April 16, remains on the active list, as does McMinnville High School, which reported one student case on April 9.

Neither show additional cases.


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