The rolling seven-day average of new cases stood at 898 on Dec. 30. But it has increased slightly — to an average of 1,032 on Sunday — raising questions of whether holiday travel and indoor celebrations are the culprit that’s nudging numbers up.
State officials haven’t officially declared a “post-holiday surge” is underway, but they do say coronavirus transmission had been “decreased dramatically” between late November and mid-December before starting an upward trajectory. At the current rate, new identified daily cases could grow to about 1,780 later this month.
In Oregon over the past two weeks, new daily cases have increased 24% and deaths 14%.
Nationally, experts say it’s clear a post-holiday surge has boosted new cases by 34% and deaths by 43% over the past two weeks.
Here are other COVID-19 statistics released Sunday:
Vaccinations: The Oregon Health Authority announced Sunday that just over 97,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered since Dec. 16. That means the state is likely less than a day away from reaching 100,000 inoculations, a mark the health authority had previously hoped it would have accomplished by Dec. 31.
The state has adjusted its vaccination plan in recent days to speed the pace of vaccinations — and based on daily injection numbers updated Sunday for previous days, the state does appear to be vaccinating more people.
The state now says that vaccinations hit a record high on Friday, with 9,985 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines administered to people in Phase 1a. That includes an estimated 400,000 people who will each need two doses of the vaccines for full efficacy. Those in Phase 1a are mostly healthcare workers, first responders, jail and prison employees and residents of congregate care facilities such as nursing homes.
Where new cases are by county: Baker (5), Benton (15), Clackamas (86), Clatsop (6), Columbia (17), Coos (11), Curry (1), Deschutes (51), Douglas (13), Hood River (10), Jackson (39), Jefferson (11), Josephine (18), Klamath (43), Lane (89), Lincoln (4), Linn (27), Malheur (1), Marion (233), Morrow (4), Multnomah (229), Polk (45), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (34), Union (6), Wallowa (4), Wasco (10), Washington (180), Yamhill (32).
New deaths: The state on Sunday reported two new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the death toll to 1,605 since the beginning of the pandemic.
A 96-year-old Lane County woman with underlying conditions tested positive Dec. 29 and died Thursday at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend.
A 69-year-old Multnomah County man with underlying conditions tested positive Nov. 17 and died Saturday. Officials are still verifying the location of his death.
Prevalence of infections: The state reported 1,137 positive test results out of 14,238 reports of tests performed. That’s a positivity rate of 8%.
Hospitalizations: The state reported 403 hospitalized patients, 18 fewer than the previous day. The number of patients in intensive care units increased by three, to 84.
Since it began: Officials report 125,683 confirmed or presumed cases, 1,605 deaths and 2,826,905 lab reports from tests.
— Aimee Green; email@example.com; @o_aimee