By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Oregon now has second highest rate of infection

Oregon is now second in the nation for new COVID-19 infections, after months of keeping its levels lower than most other states, and its hospitalization rates in several counties are close to triggering a renewed ban on indoor dining and other high-risk activities, Gov. Kate Brown has announced.

At a press conference on Friday, Brown warned, “In the race between vaccines and variants, right now the variants have the upper hand.”

She said several counties are “on the verge of having to reinstate extreme risk restrictions on businesses and activities.” As of Friday, however, Yamhill County, which is in the high risk category, was not among them.

“At this moment, we are moving backwards. Oregon needs to be moving forward,” Brown said. “My goal is to get the state back on track to lift the restrictions this pandemic has forced upon us — I think we can get there by the start of summer, but we will all need to work together.”

On Monday, Yamhill County reported 53 new cases from Saturday to Monday, a significantly higher number than the county has been seeing in the last several weeks.

There have now been 4,230 cases in the county to date, and 75 deaths.

Statewide, there have been 2,485 deaths as of Sunday, and 180,700 cases. The state is reporting around 700 to 1,000 new cases per day.

“In order to fully reopen our economy, we need to reach a significant majority of Oregonians with a vaccine; we need to close the equity gap in our vaccine efforts; and vaccine supplies need to be readily available for all eligible Oregonians who want to be protected. Vaccines are your best protection against the variants and the quickest way for us all to get back to the people and things we miss the most,” Brown said.

Some experts have warned that, although vaccines provide up to 90% or more protection from COVID-19, no vaccine can provide 100% protection. On Monday, The Washington Post noted the CDC has recently reported 5,800 “breakthrough” cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated people. It noted an estimated 91 million Americans are fully vaccinated, meaning those cases are rare.

Oregon has also announced  it will resume using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but that patients must be given information about rare cases of a type of serious blood clots in Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients.

Use of the vaccine was halted by the CDC on April 13, to allow it and the Food & Drug Administration to investigate reports of the blood clots. On Friday, the FDA lifted the restriction.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup also recommended resuming use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

However, the FDA did issue a warning about the potential for the blood clot problem in women younger than 50. The OHA said Oregon providers must ensure their patients receive the safety warning in their primary language, or “in a manner that the individual can understand, considering English language proficiency and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility needs.”

Distribution of vaccine to Oregon is down, but the OHA reported an increased share to Yamhill County this week: 4,300, compared to 3,100 last week. The OHA numbers reflect both prime and booster doses. The OHA said an additional 500 doses were shipped to local pharmacies.

According to the OHA, 40,328 people in the county have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Yamhill County Public Health said in a weekly press release Monday that last week, the county partnered with YCAP and Providence Health system to vaccinate 302 people in Dayton at the high school as well as 32 people at an event at the McMinnville Cooperative Ministries.

Comments

Rotwang

This has been the longest two weeks of my life.

Paul Daquilante

Extremely grateful to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde for the service they provided.

The process on the tribal grounds could not have gone any smoother than it did.

Treehouse

A lot of people seem to be forgetting that vaccination is a five week process. Choosing to delay can have devastating consequences for the individual as well as for the community. Healthy people in their 20s are now suffering from Long Covid with lasting cognitive defects, changes to speech, and coordination. Treatment and recovery are no picnic and can be complicated for those without insurance.