I’m fully vaccinated. Why do I have to continue safety precautions? 

It’s been a tough year for everyone and so many of us are, frankly, tired. Tired of not seeing our loved ones. Tired of wearing a face covering. Tired of staying close to home. But we are so close to helping end the pandemic! Even if we are fully vaccinated, many other people are not. And until we reach the point where COVID-19 can no longer easily spread, we need to keep practicing the proven safety precautions.  

The fact is that COVID-19 is a new virus. That means health experts are still learning how effective the authorized vaccines work against the virus and emerging variants. Early data shows the vaccines work very well against the virus, but could be less effective against some emerging variants. Experts are also monitoring how well the authorized vaccines keep people from spreading the disease, and how long vaccine protection lasts.

The good news? We know what we must do to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Wear a face covering. Watch your distance, wash your hands often and stay home when you’re sick. And get vaccinated when you are able. Create an account at Get Vaccinated Oregon to find out where you can get vaccinated.

If you have questions about what you can do after vaccination, potential side effects and second doses, join Oregon Health Authority (OHA) for a Facebook LiveWednesday, April 28 at noon, to have these and other post-vaccination questions answered by our experts.

 

Quarantine guidance updated to prevent the spread of COVID-19

The surge in COVID-19 cases and increase in hospitalizations in Oregon are a concern right now. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has updated recommendations for the length of quarantine to 14-days. We want to remind you that quarantining is an important tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.

Here’s what you need to know about the quarantine guidance:

  • If you are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 you should quarantine for 14 days.
  • People who have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated.
  • A person is considered fully vaccinated if it has been two weeks or longer since they received the final dose of their vaccine series and they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

Revised guidance for this new recommendation is being finalized and will be available on the OHA webpage.

Graphic repeats info in article.

 

OHA clears health care providers to resume Johnson & Johnson vaccinations

Oregon health care providers and pharmacies may resume administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine if they can ensure patients or their caregivers are informed about the benefits and risks of the vaccine in their primary language according to Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

On April 13, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a pause on use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following reports of rare and serious blood clots in a small number of people, out of the approximately 7.5 million people who’d been vaccinated at the time.

On Friday, April 23, the Food and Drug Administration lifted the pause, with a warning about the potential for rare blood clots for women under age 50.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup met on Saturday, April 24, and determined that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is “generally safe and effective” and use could resume as long as there is information available for patients to make informed decisions. Information about the vaccine needs to be culturally appropriate and easy to understand, in the patient’s primary language.

According to OHA’s guidance to health care providers, “Recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be made aware of this rare potential risk of blood clots within the first three weeks of vaccination.”

Updated fact sheets including this warning have been approved by the FDA, including the Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers administering vaccine and the Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers. These fact sheets also include information on when to seek medical attention.

You can read more about this decision in the news release.

OHA announces new tableau features

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has launched two new features on its public Tableau site. These new features will display and update the data used to calculate the weekly County Risk Metrics.

The first feature will display confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 case counts by the day the case was reported to public health. It will allow users to select a county and see confirmed and presumptive daily COVID-19 case counts for the current and previous four weeks. The new feature will be available on the Oregon COVID-19 Testing and Outcomes by County Dashboard.

The second feature will display data on the number of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19-positive patients. On April 6, the Governor’s Office announced counties will not move into the Extreme Risk category unless both of the following criteria are met statewide:

  • The peak daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19-positive patients from the previous seven days (including the current day) is more than 300, and
  • The percentage increase in total number of COVID-19-positive patient bed-days is 15.0% or greater when comparing the most recent seven-day period with the previous seven-day period.

OHA has developed a new feature to track whether this metric is met that will be updated Monday through Friday and on weekends the data will be included in the Daily Media Release.

Previously, this data was updated weekly on Mondays and used full Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report weeks. The dashboard will compare the current seven days total COVID-19-positive-patient-bed-days to the previous seven-day period. The dashboard also displays the daily peak in the current seven-day period. It will be available on the HOSCAP dashboard.