The Oregon Health Authority reported 307 new confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases and five deaths on Friday.
Disclosure of the new cases comes a day after case counts surged to record-breaking heights for the third consecutive week with 437 cases reported Thursday.
Hospitalizations on Friday also reached record heights with 158, topping the previous record of 156 set in early April.
State public health officials have raised concerns in the past when they see increases in residents at Oregon hospitals. They say the number typically grows as people seek care at a faster pace and when the sickest need longer stays.
However, state officials said this week that despite the high counts, hospitalization rates are starting to plateau after five consecutive weeks of growing. Officials attributed this to increased testing and the fact that young people, who are less likely to be hospitalized, are reporting most of the cases.
State officials also said social gatherings and “sporadic cases” – cases that are not linked to a specific outbreak – are driving the spike in case counts. The rise in sporadic cases means that infection is spreading uncontained throughout communities, state officials said.
“Large outbreaks account for a smaller proportion of recent cases,” Patrick Allen, the health authority director said in a Thursday press conference. “These outbreaks are diminishing in proportion to other types of cases, particularly, sporadic cases.”
Where the new cases are by county: Benton (2), Clackamas (19), Clatsop (1), Columbia (2), Coos (4), Deschutes (12), Douglas (3), Hood River (2), Jackson (12), Jefferson (7), Josephine (2), Klamath (2), Lane (10), Lincoln (1), Linn (3), Malheur (9), Marion (39), Morrow (6), Multnomah (88), Polk (3), Umatilla (38), Union (2), Wasco (1), Washington (37) and Yamhill (2).
New fatalities: A 77-year-old man in Wasco County is Oregon’s 250th victim of the coronavirus. He tested positive June 27 and died at OHSU Hospital July 15, state officials reported Friday. He had unspecified underlying health conditions.
The 251st person to die with COVID-19 in Oregon is a 72-year-old man in Umatilla County. He died in his home July 14 after testing positive July 8. He had unspecified underlying health conditions.
Oregon’s 252nd coronavirus victim is a 99-year-old man who died in his home in Marion County July 15. He tested positive July 8 and had unspecified underlying health conditions.
An 82-year-old woman with unspecified underlying health conditions is Oregon’s 253rd victim of COVID-19. She tested positive July 6 and died in her home in Clackamas County on Thursday.
Oregon’s 254th death from the coronavirus is a 35-year-old woman in Multnomah County who had unspecified underlying health conditions. She died in her home July 11 after testing positive five days prior.
Prevalence of infection: Since yesterday, state officials have reported 5,234 new coronavirus tests have been conducted with 278 coming back positive, amounting to a positivity rate of 5.3%.
Who got infected: State officials reported 295 new cases on Friday among the following: 0-9 (12); 10-19 (28); 20-29 (70); 30-39 (52); 40-49 (63); 50-59 (31); 60-69 (20); 70-79 (10); 80 and older (9).
Who’s in the hospital: State officials on Friday reported that 158 Oregonians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, which is the most since April 8. Despite the high count, state officials say that hospitalization rates have slowed this week after five consecutive weeks of increase.
Since it began: State officials have reported 13,802 presumed or confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. In total, 318,244 people have been tested.
— Bryce Dole; firstname.lastname@example.org; 541-660-9844; @DoleBryce