Daily COVID-19 cases more than double, efforts to reach vulnerable communities fall short

On Friday, Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Health Authority held a news conference to give updates about COVID-19 in Oregon. They reported that efforts to create equitable access to vaccines have fallen short and that daily cases of COVID-19 have more than doubled in just over a month. Read OHA’s bulletin here.

 “The numbers are stark and clear,” OHA Director Patrick Allen said. “For too many people, race and income are predictors of whether you can access a COVID-19 vaccine – or not. Yesterday, I heard the leaders of organizations who serve the Latino/Latina community voice their legitimate frustration at the inequitable disparity in vaccination rates for the Latino community. I share their frustration. As a state, we can and need to do better.” 

According to State Health Officer and Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger: 

  • Over the past two days, OHA has reported 1,576 new cases, the highest two-day total since early February. 
  • The largest increased illnesses in Oregon are in people in their 20s.  
  • The second biggest increase is in people in their 30s. 
  • According to the CDC, hospitals around the U.S. are seeing more people in their 30s and 40s who have been admitted with severe cases as the virus continues to mutate.

Dr. Sidelinger cited three stories of recent outbreaks that illustrate how COVID-19 is spreading throughout the state: 

  • A multi-night karaoke event led to 36 cases, three hospitalizations and one death.  
  • An indoor concert at a small music venue resulted in 15 cases.  
  • All 10 people who attended a backyard gathering fell ill.  

A recording of yesterday’s live-streamed press conference is available on YouTube. The video starts at the 31:45 mark.

A recording of a Spanish language translation is available on OHA’s Facebook page.

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