By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

CDC underlines national increase in COVID, other respiratory diseases


More than 16,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19 in the last three months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, some states do not track or report COVID-19 statistics, meaning the reported numbers are lower than actual cases.

The agency reports that Oregon has reported 230 deaths from COVID in the past three months.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Director of the CDC, told a Congressional subcommittee on Nov. 30 that “COVID is still the primary cause of new hospitalizations and deaths” in the United States, causing “about 15,000 hospitalizations and 1,000 deaths every single week,” rates Cohen called “relatively low.”

Percentage of total deaths from COVID has risen 25% in the past week, according to the CDC, and COVID remains the third leading cause of death in the United States.

The CDC has cut back on the frequency of its reports on COVID, but shows 25 new hospitalizations in Yamhill County the week ending Dec. 2, a 78.6% increase from the previous week. The Oregon Health Authority’s data dashboards show 207 COVID-positive patients in hospitals, statewide, as of Dec. 4.

The dashboards show a 9.3% test positivity rate for COVID in the state as of Dec. 2, an increase from the previous week.

In a video tweet to the public last week, Cohen urged Americans to take precautions, including wearing masks, noting that RSV, influenza, COVID and pneumonia cases are all increasing nationwide.

“To protect yourself and your loved ones this holiday season take the steps that we do every year to protect ourselves. Get your updated COVID and flu vaccines and your RSV vaccine if you’re over 60. … And use additional layers of protection, like avoiding people who are sick, washing your hands, improving ventilation and wearing a mask,” Cohen said. “And if you do get sick, I know it’s hard, but stay home, so you don’t spread germs to others. And get tested so you know what you have and you can get treatment.”

She noted that the government is offering free COVID tests at

The most recent report from Biobot Analytics, a company that has monitored wastewater throughout the pandemic, said the company is looking at RSV and influenza, as well as COVID. Its report, issued on Dec. 11, is current to December 4, and shows all three viruses increasing. It estimates some 60,000 new cases are occurring daily. It shows wastewater levels in Yamhill County have increased sharply in the last month, showing levels above national concentrations.

COVID rates in the Pacific Northwest overall appear to be lower than those on the East Coast and Midwest currently, however there have been sharp increases nationwide, and the CDC reports that the viral activity level in wastewater nationally is high.

A new variant, JN.1, is spreading rapidly, and according to the CDC, its rapid growth rate “suggests that it is either more transmissible or better at evading our immune systems.”

RSV season has started in Oregon, with a 7.9% positive test rate as of Dec. 6, while influenza tests were at 3.5% positive, as of Dec. 2.

Cohen told the Congressional committee that flu season “is accelerating fast” and that RSV season is “approaching peak.”

In October, Family Medicine and Community Health published a study showing that children 5 and younger are more vulnerable to RSV following a COVID infection.

“Our findings suggest that COVID-19 contributed to the 2022 surge of RSV cases in young children through the large buildup of COVID-19-infected children and the potential long-term adverse effects of COVID-19 on the immune and respiratory system,” the study authors wrote.

More information about the study is available at

A strain of pneumonia that is resistant to antibiotics has been sending children to the hospital in large numbers in several countries, posing the greatest risk to children younger than 8. It has not yet been noted in the United States, but symptoms can take up to four weeks to appear.

COVID and other diseases often increase dramatically after the holidays, when large numbers of Americans travel to visit family.

The CDC website notes that “Masks and respirators are effective at reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, when worn consistently and correctly.”

They can also reduce the transmission of other diseases, including colds, flu and RSV. COVID is the most transmissible of the three and is airborne, while colds and influenza are primarily spread by droplets that can be breathed in or transferred from surfaces. COVID can remain in the air for several hours after an infected person has been present.

KN95 and N95 masks and respirators provide significantly more protection than cloth or surgical masks.

“Whatever product you choose, it should provide a good fit (i.e., fitting closely on the face without any gaps along the edges or around the nose) and be comfortable enough when worn properly (covering your nose and mouth) so that you can keep it on when you need to,” the CDC states. The mask should fit snugly over the nose, mouth and chin, without gaps.

COVID vaccines provide some temporary protection against transmission, and offer significant protection against developing illness severe enough to require hospitalization. However, people who are infected remain at risk of developing organ or brain damage months later, and face an elevated risk of death for six months, even after recovering from apparently mild cases of the virus. More severe infections increase the risk of later health complications.

Air filtration offers another layer of protection. Gatherings that cannot be moved outside should have consistent fresh airflow, as well as filtration, to help minimize viral transmission. A tool for calculating the amount needed for different sizes of gatherings is available at



I'd bet money that Biobot Analytics will "discover" whatever alleged virus the CDC is after, when they decide it should be discovered.

Result could be locking down individuals, neighborhoods, towns, counties, even the whole State of Oregon. All made possible by the perpetual state of emergency. And contrary to due process.

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