Oregon reports 21 more COVID-19 related deaths, 2,437 new cases; St. Charles Bend record 92 in hospital

More than 80% of latest cases were among unvaccinated

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — There are 21 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 3,394, the Oregon Health Authority reported Thursday as St. Charles Bend reported a record 92 COVID-19 patients.

OHA also reported 2,437 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday, bringing the state total to 294,392.

Link to Thursday’s Oregon Health Authority media availability

Thursday afternoon, Oregon Health Authority Senior Health Advisor Dr. Bukhosi Dube was available to answer media questions regarding the COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon.

To watch the video of the media availability, click here.

Weekly Breakthrough Case Report

OHA’s most recent update on COVID-19 breakthrough cases, released Thursday, found that 80.7% of the 13,798 reported COVID-19 cases between Aug. 29 and Sept. 4 occurred in people who were unvaccinated. There were 2,657 breakthrough cases, accounting for 19.3% of the week’s cases.

Cases of COVID-19 are far more common in unvaccinated people. The report shows that the rate of COVID-19 in unvaccinated people is currently approximately five times higher than in vaccinated people.

To date, 4.9% of all vaccine breakthrough cases have been hospitalized and 0.9% have died. The median age of the people who died was 80. To date, there have been 16,417 COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases in Oregon. The median age of all cases was 48. Breakthrough cases have been reported in all 36 counties.

The median age of the breakthrough cases during this period was 48. Seventy-four breakthrough cases involved residents of care facilities, senior living communities or other congregate care settings. There were 55 breakthrough cases in people aged 12 to 17.

The number of vaccine breakthrough cases identified in Oregon remains very small, OHA said, when compared to the more than 2.42 million individuals in Oregon who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination series.

The latest breakthrough report can be found here.

COVID-19 weekly cases drop, hospitalizations, deaths rise

The Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 Weekly Report, released Thursday, showed a slight drop in weekly cases, but an increase in virus-associated hospitalizations and deaths.

OHA reported 15,753 new daily cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, Aug.30, through Sunday, Sept. 5. That represents a 3% decrease and follows eight straight weeks of rising cases.

COVID-19 related hospitalizations rose again – though less steeply – from 1,000 to 1,036. That marked another pandemic high. It is the ninth straight weekly increase.

There were 176 reported COVID-19 related deaths, up from 119 reported the previous week. That marked the sixth consecutive week of rising deaths.

OHA reported 146,344 tests for COVID-19 for the week of Aug. 29 through Sept. 4. The percentage of positive tests increased to 11.1%.

Thursday’s COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report shows 182 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.

Third Dose Introduction

As of Thursday, third dose data has been included in the “Oregon COVID-19 Vaccine Daily Update” dashboard. The total number of third doses added to the state immunization registry on Sept. 8 was 24,308. Of that total, 710 third doses were administered on Sept. 8.

It is important to note that “third dose” (aka “third shot” or “dose three”) and “booster dose” (aka “booster shot” or “booster”) are not the same.

third dose is specifically for individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and may not have built up an adequate protective immune response with their first series of vaccinations. Currently, the only authorized third doses are for the Moderna and Pfizer Comirnaty vaccines. The recommendation is for immunocompromised individuals to receive a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine at least 28 days after receiving the second dose in the series (for individuals 18 years and older for Moderna and 12 years and older for Pfizer Comirnaty).

At this time, the CDC does not have enough data to suggest that an additional dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would produce an enhanced immune response in an immunocompromised person. Another dose of Johnson & Johnson or an mRNA vaccine is not recommended for immunocompromised individuals who have already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These recommendations will be reviewed as the data becomes available.

booster dose is for people whose immunity may be fading after they complete their first vaccination series. There is currently no COVID-19 vaccine authorized as a booster. The FDA and CDC will examine data on the safety and efficacy of booster doses in order to issue guidance, which will inform recommendations in Oregon.

According to the CDC, an individual is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have completed the primary vaccine series (i.e., the two-dose mRNA Moderna or Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine series or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine), regardless of their immunocompromised status.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 1,150, which is 12 more than Wednesday. There are 288 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is nine fewer than Wednesday.

There are 56 available adult ICU beds out of 641 total (9% availability) and 307 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,354 (7% availability). 

Available Beds

St. Charles Bend reported a record 92 COVID-19 patients as of early Thursday, with 11 in the ICU, nine on ventilators.

All of of the ICU patients were not fully vaccinated, the hospital said, while 79 of the 92 patients were not fully vaccinated. Of the 92 patients, 66 were 60 or older.

The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.

Note: Please do not visit an emergency department for COVID-19 testing, unless you require emergency care for your symptoms.

Emergency departments in Oregon are under significant strain responding to the current surge in COVID-19. You can find a test here.  

If you have a medical condition that doesn’t require emergency care, contact your provider. An urgent care center may also help you get the care you need and will save emergency departments from added strain.  

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

Vaccinations in Oregon

OHA reported Thursday that 11,733 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry on Wednesday. Of this total, 4,890 were administered on Wednesday: 2,511 were initial doses and 1,624 were second doses. The remaining 6,843 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on Wednesday.

The seven-day running average is now 8,654 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered 2,857,236 first and second doses of Pfizer Comirnaty, 1,864,787 first and second doses of Moderna and 203,992 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

As of Thursday, 2,658,741 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,423,777 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series.

These data are preliminary and subject to change.

Updated vaccination data are provided on Oregon’s COVID-19 data dashboards and have been updated today.

Note #1: OHA completed a monthly data refresh, pulling doses administered from December. through the end of August, as well as completed a backlogged data cleaning to remove duplicate vaccination records from the reporting database. This explains the decline since yesterday in the number of people who have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as those who have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series.

Note #2: Due to the Labor Day holiday, the COVID-19 modeling and pediatric reports will be published Friday.

Cases and COVID-19 deaths

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported Thursday are in the following counties: Baker (22), Benton (27), Clackamas (204), Clatsop (37), Columbia (27), Coos (45), Crook (39), Curry (13), Deschutes (152), Douglas (168), Grant (20), Harney (6), Hood River (8), Jackson (190), Jefferson (21), Josephine (90), Klamath (25), Lake (7), Lane (189), Lincoln (18), Linn (134), Malheur (75), Marion (203), Morrow (2), Multnomah (203), Polk (98), Tillamook (15), Umatilla (119), Union (22), Wallowa (3), Wasco (23), Washington (180) and Yamhill (52).

Note: More information about the cases and deaths will be provided in an updated news release.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations  

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine situation in Oregon, visit OHA’s webpage (English or Spanish), which has a breakdown of distribution and other information.

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