As a glimmer of hope emerges while the United States enters the summer with some of the lowest COVID-19 case rates in months, the country could pass 600,000 deaths as early as this weekend.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that the case numbers and deaths have dropped to their lowest levels in almost a year. But experts are warning unvaccinated individuals and vaccinated alike not to let their guard down yet.
Top disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned of the alpha variant, first identified in the UK, and the delta variant are spreading rapidly through the country.
“We don’t want to let happen in the United States what is happening currently in the UK, where you have a troublesome variant essentially taking over as the dominant variant, which has made it a very difficult situation in the UK,” he told CNN.
The delta variant now accounts for about 6% of US infections, Fauci said. But data shows that the Pfizer vaccine is effective partially against the variant.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden on Thursday outlined plans for the U.S. to help “supercharge the global fight against this pandemic.”
Central to that campaign is the U.S. commitment to purchase 500 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and donate them to 92 low- and middle-income nations, which Biden confirmed at the G-7 summit in England. The G-7 nations on Friday are set to commit to sharing at least 1 billion doses overall.
“This is a monumental commitment by the American people,” Biden said. “This is not the end of our efforts to fight COVID-19 and vaccinate the world.”
— USA TODAY
Vaccine goal reached: Lane County moved to ‘lower risk’
As of midnight Wednesday, Lane County permanently dropped to “lower risk” for COVID-19 restrictions, incurring the least amount of limits on gathering in restaurants, churches, gyms and other businesses.
Lane County Board of Commissioners Chair Joe Berney cheerfully delivered the news that the community reached the state-set vaccination goal at public health’s Tuesday news conference.
“This morning, it gives me incredible pleasure to announce that as of last weekend, over 65% of Lane County residents aged 16 and over have now received the COVID-19 vaccination,” Berney said. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
He also thanked the 700 community volunteers who helped administer 384,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Oregon reports 370 new COVID-19 cases, 10 new deaths
Oregon reported 10 new COVID-19-related deaths Thursday, raising the state’s death toll to 2,726, the Oregon Health Authority said.
OHA also reported 370 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 204,291.
Oregon has administered a total of 2,337,634 first and second doses of Pfizer, 1,659,139 first and second doses of Moderna and 153,424 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of Thursday, 1,991,717 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 2,303,485 people who have had at least one dose. The number of adult Oregonians needing vaccinations to reach the 70% threshold is 93,234.
The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 173, which is nine more than Wednesday. There are 41 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, which is five more than Wednesday.
The total number of COVID-19-positive patient bed-days in the most recent seven days is 1,328, which is a 22.3% decrease from the previous seven days.
Cases and deaths
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases are in the following counties: Baker (1), Benton (8), Clackamas (30), Clatsop (1), Columbia (4), Coos (2), Crook (11), Deschutes (85), Douglas (17), Harney (1), Hood River (4), Jackson (15), Jefferson (1), Josephine (8), Klamath (10), Lane (23), Linn (11), Malheur (2), Marion (35), Multnomah (59), Polk (7), Umatilla (8), Union (1), Washington (22) and Yamhill (4).
- Oregon’s 2,717th death is an 89-year-old man from Clackamas County who tested positive on May 4 and died on May 23 at his residence. He had underlying conditions.
- Oregon’s 2,718th death is an 83-year-old woman from Clackamas County who tested positive on Jan. 27 and died on Feb. 26 at her residence. She had underlying conditions.
- Oregon’s 2,719th death is a 90-year-old woman from Crook County who tested positive on June 7 and died on June 8 at St. Charles Bend Hospital. She had underlying conditions.
- Oregon’s 2,720th death is an 80-year-old man from Linn County who tested positive on May 21 and died on May 23 at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.
- Oregon’s 2,721st death is an 84-year-old man from Lane County who tested positive on May 22 and died on June 8 at Mercy Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.
- Oregon’s 2,722nd death is a 75-year-old woman from Multnomah County who tested positive on May 15 and died on May 21 at Legacy Mt. Hood Medical Center. She had underlying conditions.
- Oregon’s 2,723rd death is a 73-year-old man from Yamhill County who tested positive on April 17 and died on May 13 at his residence. He had underlying conditions.
- Oregon’s 2,724th death is a 55-year-old woman from Washington County who tested positive on May 4 and died on May 21 at Kaiser Westside Medical Center. She had underlying conditions.
- Oregon’s 2,725th death is a 55-year-old woman from Washington County who tested positive on May 4 and died on May 21 at Hillsboro Medical Center. She had underlying conditions.
- Oregon’s 2,726th death is a 73-year-old man from Wasco County who tested positive on April 13 and died on May 21 at his residence. He had underlying conditions.
Lane County reports one death, 30 new cases
Lane County reported one death and 30 confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, raising the death toll to 156 and the countywide case count to 13,744, according to Lane County Public Health.
There were 119 people considered infectious, up almost 18% from Wednesday’s 101.
Eighteen were hospitalized, six were in intensive care and two were on ventilators, all unchanged from Wednesday.
As of Tuesday, 185,954 people in Lane County have been fully vaccinated, 48.76% of the total population, with 388,819 first and second doses administered
Weekly cases, hospitalizations decline
Tuesday’s Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 Weekly Report showed a sixth consecutive week of declining cases and lowest since weekly case tally since September. OHA reported 1,725 daily cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, May 31, through Sunday, June 6, a 26% decline from the previous week.
New COVID-19 related hospitalizations also declined from 190 to 112, the lowest since September.
There were 20 reported COVID-19 related deaths.
There were 72,443 tests for COVID-19 for the week of May 30 through June 5, with a positive test percentage of 3.8%.
People 70 years of age and older have accounted for 398 of COVID-19 related hospitalizations and 75% of COVID-19 related deaths.
Tuesday’s COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report shows 19 active COVID-19 outbreaks in senior living communities and congregate living settings, with three or more confirmed cases and one or more COVID-19 related deaths.